Open your nearest book to page 82. Take the third full sentence on the page, and work it into a post somehow.
I liked the randomness of this writing prompt, so I thought why not give it a try! So I looked around, and the book closest to me was The Bedford Handbook, a writing and grammar reference. And then I thought, ‘Oh no, that’s boring! I have lots of other interesting books around, like cookbooks, a guidebook on Maui, a little Christian devotional book, etc. Does it really have to be the closest book?’
I decided to give it a try. Well, I should have known, God’s plan is better than anything I could come up with. So on page 82 there is a section explaining the difference between comparison and contrast. The third sentence says, “To contrast is to focus only on differences.”
Then, I immediately knew what I wanted to write! Since this blog is mainly a Christian devotional, I’ll apply it to the Christian church for this post.
Sometimes it seems we, as Christians, focus so much on our differences, like differences in doctrine, different denominations, stands on certain issues, etc. that we forget what we have in common. As followers of Jesus Christ, the main thing is that He died and rose again for us. We belong to Him. Each one of us was bought with a price, the price of Jesus’ blood. We may have differences of opinion, and I’m not at all saying that we shouldn’t stand up for what we believe. In fact, we must stand up for what we believe when what’s being questioned is the center of our faith, our belief in Jesus. But sometimes we need to realize other Christians have other perspectives, and when the issues are not central to our faith, remember what’s really important.
One reason we need to be unified is our witness to the world, to reflect God’s love through our lives. Jesus himself prayed for our unity on the night before he was crucified. I can’t think of a better reason than that.
And for their sake I consecrate myself, that they also may be sanctified in truth. “I do not ask for these only, but also for those who will believe in me through their word, that they may all be one, just as you, Father, are in me, and I in you, that they also may be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me. The glory that you have given me I have given to them, that they may be one even as we are one, I in them and you in me, that they may become perfectly one, so that the world may know that you sent me and loved them even as you loved me.
John 17:19-23 (ESV) (underlining my own)
In 1 Corinthians, Paul writes,
I appeal to you, brothers, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be united in the same mind and the same judgment.
1 Corinthians 1:10 (ESV)
The Bedford Handbook, 6th Edition, Diana Hacker, 2002, Bedford/St. Martin’s