Good morning, Five Minute Families! The sun is shining as we plan out what to share with you today.
The sun streaming in my windows makes me smile. It doesn’t have to be warm outside, and I don’t have to have the sun on me to feel better. Simply seeing it improves my mood. You know, there are people like that. Simply seeing them makes me smile. Sometimes, they are busy and only have a moment to flash a grin my way, yet, they always leave their glow behind. What happens, though, when everyone around us is NOT like sunshine?
Often, pastors will talk about the ‘church family.’ Sometimes, they are referring to the capital ‘C’ church family, but normally they are bringing it in to the closeness of the local congregation. And, just like any family, some folks are sunshine, and some folks always have clouds or rain around them – at least with always cloudy peeps, we know what to expect, but what about those people who are sometimes sunny and sometimes rainy? Just like the real weather, we can run the percentages, but often we just don’t know what we are going to get. You know, when I was in drama class eons ago, we would warm up our lips by say “Whether the weather is hot, or whether the weather is cold, we’ll weather the weather whatever the weather, whether we like it or not.”
So, in our biblical communities, whether we like it or not, we must learn how do we deal with one another in kind, loving ways – especially when someone is variable and we just aren’t sure how to react.
We treat them like family, the way God says… one anothering as brothers and sisters, mothers and fathers in the faith.
Let’s pray for one another – and, pray, too, for God to reveal if we ourselves are only fair-weather friends. I used to always hug people, yet as I have gotten older, I have learned many people don’t like hugs. I am a time person, but since time at church doesn’t really allow for prolonged conversations, a hug used to say so much. However, with the pandemic touching concerns, my own health-induced anxiety, and moving to a new place not knowing who the huggers are, my hug-giving has fallen by the wayside. It makes me sad and awkward about ‘to hug or not to hug.’ And, that’s just a small snippet of what happens in some folks’ head when you approach them.
Listen well. When someone is able to bring the sunshine each week, he or she may need someone who is listening between the lines. OR, maybe if the sunshine person is being real, then he or she needs to stop and allow the ‘rain cloud’ to lighten his or her load. If the rain cloud person does not feel listened to, he or she will return home heavier and heavier each week. Listen well to their words and the prompting of the Holy Spirit.
Be authentic but be self-controlled. If you are the oft-changing, variable person, realize how your lack of self-control affects those in your biblical community. I know that everything I feel shows on my face, and with the difficulty of the past few years, I am one of the varying people. I need to remember that being bubbly one day and Eeyore the next time we meet makes it difficult for others to engage with me.
Be more accepting. Kim and I began doing the “whether the weather” statement that each week before we record the Family Minute Family. The reality is that we need to see our fellow church family members for who they are – not just who we want them to be but who they are right now. Not just who God will continue to grow them to be but who they are right now. Sometimes, we are in the thick of a storm, and sometimes we are the storm. Sometimes, we may be the only ray of sunshine our church family member may see the entire week.
Shift perspectives. You don’t have to agree with the person’s view of life, but try to understand that they may be struggling with things that they themselves do not even fully understand yet. Here, especially, if you are a more mature Christian, adopt a mentoring mindset. Share a verse or two, not in condemnation but in encouragement.
Just as every biological or household family has the sunshine, the rain, the cloud, the variable, and all weathers in-between, your church family will have a unique assortment, too – ALL OF WHOM ARE MADE IN GOD’S IMAGE. Never forget that.
Whether the weather TOGETHER!
Thank you for joining us this morning. We pray that you have an excellent week as you continue to raise standards, reach goals, and love one another with God’s grace, mercy, and forgiveness. Be blessed!