"Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers."
Galatians 6:10 NIV
My husband, children, and I use the term “just us” to designate things to be saved for times when it is only the four of us. Certain clothing items, like stained t-shirts and saggy bottom swimsuits, are only to be worn when it’s “just us”. Other times we are referring to inside jokes that could be deemed inappropriate or offensive by those who do not know the full context behind them. We coined this term when my son was in elementary school and hearing some choice new words on the playground. He had a habit of asking what they meant in what always felt like a loud voice when we were in public. I explained that when he did not know the meaning of a word, it was probably best to ask when it was “just us". My goal has always been to make our home a safe place of comfort and familiarity. A place where we don’t need to put up appearances, can let our guard down, and ask the questions weighing on our minds.
We should experience this same comfort and safety among our brothers and sisters in Christ. When we struggle with certain parts of the Bible or even our faith, we need to have a community we can lean on. Digging into the word and discussing tough subjects with fellow believers can help answer our questions or in some cases, give us more peace about questions we may not get answered on this side of heaven, bringing us to more genuine faith. Part of creating a “just us” environment within our Christian family is allowing people to ask the questions on their minds without fear of being shamed, judged, or attacked. It includes being open to different opinions and viewpoints, having honest, respectful discussions, and walking alongside those who struggle.
There is so much controversy and division in our nation right now. The idea that you can love someone even if you do not love all their opinions seems to be slipping away. As Christians, we need to model the unconditional love Christ showed us.
“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”
John 13:34-35 NIV
Our political affiliations and opinions may differ from some of our fellow believers, but we are united in the most important truth, which is the message of the gospel. As a church, we must stay unified and rooted in this foundation. We need to be the example in this world of what it looks like to agree to disagree and love others despite our differences. By demonstrating this, we can be the light Jesus calls us to be in this dark world and bring hope to others. Creating a safe, “just us” environment will foster a closer bond among our family of believers and welcome others to join.