Things to Hold onto

Read: 2 Corinthians 6:14 – 7:1

Young children often have certain things that they hold on to and carry with them wherever they go. A blanket, a doll, a football, or other things that help them feel secure, happy, and content. As we grow older, the items change but there are still beliefs, worldviews, and convictions that still shape us and communicate who we are and what is important to us.

In 2 Corinthians Paul was writing to the church in Corinth about holding on to things that were false, dangerous, and pulling them away from the power of God and the truth of Christ in their lives. In verse 17 he says, “Come out from them and be separate, says the Lord.”

Just like Corinth, the world today has many of those pulls as well. Four weeks ago we were saddened and dismayed by the violence we saw in Newtown, Connecticut and everyone was talking about ways to keep violence from becoming so prevalent in our culture.

And yet it’s sad this week to see the movie “Texas Chainsaw 3D”, a movie with killing and violence as it’s main theme beat out “The Hobbit” for the top grossing movie revenue. How quickly we forget! Perhaps with Paul’s encouragement we can find things to hold on to that will keep us content, happy, wholesome, and in tune with God.

I read a blog this week from a pastor in which he listed 10 things that they (their church) hold on to. Things that are non-negotiable and as he says, “These are the hills that we would die on.” They were listed as follows…..

1. The Bible is true and is the ultimate catalyst for life-change.
2. Lost people matter to God, and therefore they ought to matter to us.
3. We should be culturally relevant while remaining doctrinally pure.
4. It is normal for Christ followers to manifest authenticity and grow in their spiritual maturity.
5. The church should operate as a unified community of servants stewarding their spiritual gifts.
6. Loving relationships should permeate every aspect of church life.
7. We need other people to help with life-change.
8. Excellence honors God and inspires people.
9. Churches should be led by those with leadership gifts, and structured according to the nature and mission of the church.
10. Full devotion to Christ and His cause is normal for every believer.

It made me realize that this exercise could be helpful for all of us. It could be very beneficial for our churches and our own personal lives to sit down and write out what our 10 non-negotiables would be. In fact, it sounds like a great way to start out the new year.

In 2 Corinthians 7:1 Paul says, “Therefore, since we have these promises, dear friends, let us purify ourselves from everything that contaminates body and spirit, perfecting holiness out of reverence for God.” May that be truth that we hold on to!

Make it personal: Try making your list of 10 things this week. Put it in your Bible, on your frig., or somewhere that you can see it throughout 2013. What are they things you will hold onto tightly this year? Are they God pleasing?

Have a great week,
Glen Rhodes, Minister of Discipling and Community Life, Arthur Mennonite Church