For the entire law is fulfilled in keeping this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.”  If you bite and devour each other, watch out or you will be destroyed by each other. Gal. 5:14-15 (NIV)

     For we know in part and we prophesy in part, but when the perfect comes, the partial will pass away. 1 Cor. 13:9-10 (ESV)

     Dear heavenly Father, there are so many reasons I’m looking forward to life in the new heaven and new earth. And though it’s not at the top of my list, perfected theological understanding among your children is going to be awesome. When your sons and daughters “bite and devour” one another, over Biblical and theological differences, no one could possibly grieve it more than you. Have mercy on us, Lord, have mercy on me.

     O for the Day when we will no longer know in part or love in part—the Day when we will no longer label, dismiss, or marginalize one another, over our differing Biblical and theological understandings. When I think about it, Father, it’s rather absurd (and worse) that we who have been saved by your grace—from beginning to end, should ever resort to condescending, judgmental, dismissive attitudes with fellow brothers and sisters in Jesus.

     Father, I can only speak for myself today about this matter. Please forgive me for leading with my rightness over my kindness, and for loving my theological tribe more readily and fully than those in other tribes. Forgive me for defending sovereign grace ungraciously; forgive me for thinking to myself, “I obviously get the gospel so much more than they do”; forgive me for using Biblical knowledge to put up walls, rather than build bridges. Forgive me and free me, for living and loving to your glory, even this very day. So very Amen I pray, in Jesus’ tender and triumphant name.

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Scotty Smith

Scotty Smith is the founding pastor of Christ Community Church in Franklin, Tennessee. You can follow him on Twitter.

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