30th September 2020

Micromanaging the Gospel

“…if you help, just help, don’t take over…
Romans 12:7b (MSG)

When we look at the context of this scripture, we see Paul writing to a group of Christians in Rome that he had not yet met.  This congregation brought together Jewish Christians and Gentiles (Romans 1:13).  Imagine the friction!  Though tongue in cheek, for an English person, perhaps compare this with trying to work with ‘the French’ – differences in culture, language and other causes for dispute just seem to get in the way, despite a common goal!  The Jews would have been raised with the ‘Law and the Prophets’ and the newly converted Gentiles, well, who knows! but both parties would have passionately believed their way was best.

The same goes for us today.  Christians come from a plethora of backgrounds, and we all have different ideas on how to achieve certain outcomes – and this includes in how we proclaim the message of Jesus.

I’m sure we can all provide examples of where we feel others have meddled, interfered or attempted to micro-manage what we do.  This can be all aspects of life, not just paid employment.  Do you recall how it makes you feel?  Perhaps undermined, stupid, irritated, demoralized, time wasteful?  The adjective list could be rather long.  Question to self … can you identify with having done this to others?

We read in the preceding verses of the above scripture, admittedly translated in the vernacular, that all believers are part of a mission-oriented body of Christ, with God-given gifts, (Romans 12:5).  We can all contribute.  Our mission?  To make Jesus Christ known to others.  So, when the preceding verse says “Let’s just go ahead and be what we were made to be, without enviously or pridefully comparing ourselves with each other, or trying to be something we aren’t”, it’s implying we recognise this (Romans 12:6).

It’s easy to interfere in how others do things.  It can also be hard to let go of a project we started or think of as ‘our baby’, (1 Corinthians 3:6-9).  Nevertheless, it is God who gives the growth, not us!  A person’s work might not be perfect, but it doesn’t need to be. Consider what’s the worst that could happen.  Christ is our perfecter!

We need to let go of trying to control people and what they do.  Instead, let’s empower and encourage every single Christian to share the gospel (1 Corinthians 12:1-11).  This takes courage and faith – but guess what, it’s the work of Jesus Christ, not our own.

Lord God, help each of us as Christians to work together to make Christ known to the ‘unchurched,’ in a climate of mutual respect for everyone’s gifts, even when we think we can do it better.

Study by Irene Tibbenham


About the Author:
Irene Tibbenham is a Deaconess and serves on the Pastoral Council in the Norwich Congregation of Grace Communion International.

Local Congregation:
GCI Norwich
New Hope Christian Centre
Martineau Lane

Meeting Time:
Saturday 10:30am

Local Congregational Contact:
Tony Goudie
Phone: 01508 498165
Mobile: 07931 580409
Email:  tony_goudie@wcg.org.uk



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