Saint Augustine once said, “In the essentials unity, in the non-essentials liberty, in all things charity.”
A crusade steering committee for the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association once asked me to work with them. I had been saved in the charismatic renewal of the twentieth century, which emphasized baptism in the Holy Spirit. One of my church friends heard of my involvement with the crusade and said, “I would not be involved with them. They don’t believe in the baptism in the Holy Spirit.”
I was a young Christian, and my friend’s remark shook me. I started having reservations about my involvement with the crusade, but I continued to serve on the committee. The result was a rich learning experience.
The crusade team’s concern for the lost was honey straight out of a rock. They had forgotten more than I would ever know about evangelism. I learned I needed people who did not believe exactly as I did.
Jesus healed ten lepers, yet only one returned to give glory to God—and he was a despised foreigner.
We often miss God’s blessing because it comes through someone with whom we disagree. God uses people who aren’t just like us. While our theology is important, it shouldn’t divide us unless it involves the basics of salvation or is a clear departure from biblical truth.
A pastor once had a discussion with God about working with another church. He told the Lord, “I don’t know if I agree with everything they do.” God replied, “I don’t always agree with everything you do, yet I still work with you.”
The grateful Samaritan reminds us that a loving God is more concerned with the gratefulness in our hearts than the theological correctness in our minds.
Don’t let the nonessentials hinder your work for God.
(Photo courtesy of pixabay.)
(For more devotions, visit Christian Devotions.)
Ken Barnes has had a twenty-five year career in educational pursuits. He has taught in various public and private schools in Pennsylvania, Hawaii, and Virginia. He also worked for seventeen years with Youth With A Mission as a school leader, recruiter, and director. Ken holds a Master of Education in Curriculum and Instruction from Virginia Commonwealth University. He is the author of The Chicken Farm and Other Sacred Places. He currently is a speaker, blogger, and freelance writer. Ken lives with his wife Sharon in Mechanicsville, Virginia. Visit Ken at https://sites.google.com/site/kenbarnesbooksite/