Christians are such a diverse group of people. We are rich and poor, educated and uneducated, of many nationalities, and possessing many interests and skills. As Paul so eloquently put it, we are as different as an eye is from a toe. Such is the nature of both the local and the universal church.
Because of our differences, it can be difficult to see one another in a unified manner, even without considering our theological differences from one denomination to the next. As a church we have bloomed and blossomed from the original twelve apostles who differed greatly from one another. Even those with the same occupation varied in personality and in how they related to Jesus. Our differences make up who we are as individuals and who we are as a church. And our differences need to be what allow us to function together as a family.
A simple statement made by one of those original apostles made me really stop and think about my fellow believers.
The children of your chosen sister greet you. 2 John 13
Have you even contemplated what it means to be chosen? What it means that other believers have been chosen?
We did not just happen to be placed in a worldwide family of believers randomly. Each member of our extended family was chosen, handpicked by God to be our brother or sister. True, we make up an enormous family. Some of our siblings will never meet us this side of heaven. Some walked into eternity centuries before we took our first breath. But each one is still our brother or sister, and each one was intentionally chosen by our Father to be in this family. Just like you. Just like me.
Upon salvation, we accepted God’s choice. But we not only accepted that He chose us, we also accepted every other child He chose. We accepted them as our family. We accepted that His choice was right, wise, and perfect. He chose us. We accepted our new family.
I want to think of my fellow believers as chosen siblings. I don’t want to simply see them as people I have to get along with out of obligation. I want to see them as people I hunger to love, as my chosen family. God handpicked them to be my siblings. He handpicked me to be theirs. No matter how often we may disagree, no matter how different we may be, I want to remember we were chosen to share this family and this journey.