You’ve heard the saying, “You can’t take it with you.” I think it’s also important to focus on the up side of what we aren’t taking with us.
I struggle with Christians who straight up get on my nerves! Shouldn’t it be that as followers of Christ we can be above the animosity and annoyances? Why are churches divided over music and worship styles? Why can’t we interpret scripture differently? Why are we so convicted of unconditional love yet are so unloving? Why do Christians hurt each other? I could go on and on!
There was one woman who particularly just drove me nuts. We were on such different pages that I don’t even think we had the same book. On earth I’m pretty good at avoiding her, but do I really have to spend eternity with her? Do we have to spend eternity with those who use no instruments in worship, the hymn people, the Jumping for Jesus band, the dunkers, the sprinklers? It leads me, in my sinful nature, to want to determine who can go to Heaven and who cannot. We treat eternity like it is the middle school clique where the mean girl decides who’s in and who’s out, and it can change on a whim. We think we want to vote on who can enter Heaven because eternity with some people is straight up too long!
Judge not, that you be not judged. For with the judgment you pronounce you will be judged, and with the measure you use it will be measured to you. Why do you see the speck that is your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in you own eye?Matthew 7:1-3
But, who goes to heaven is not up to me, and I’m soooo glad!!! It’s just another thing that if I were in charge of I’d so screw it up. In my frustration God revealed to me that it is my sinful nature that gets annoyed with others. Intolerance is not from God, we created that. Therefore, that thing that you hate about another is their sinful nature and they aren’t taking that to heaven with them. Not to even mention that part of you that has the negative feelings in the first place is your sinful nature and you aren’t taking that with you! I won’t look on others with judgement in heaven, that is my sinful nature. We aren’t going to be annoyed by ourselves or others in heaven, all that is of this world.
For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit. For to set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace.Romans 8:5-6
So living in light of eternity, I can be less annoyed because that annoying sinful nature, both yours and mine, aren’t stuck with us for eternity, they are a ‘this world problem’. Now I am free to love the difficult because that which is hard to love is temporary. I can also forgive what was once unforgivable, because the act that needs forgiveness is also temporary. That’s what it means to be free in Christ. I look to Him and let Him deal with the mess, both mine and yours. There is no sense in wasting my energy hating it. Honestly, if given the choice, we wouldn’t choose to be annoying. I need to give others a break and just be less annoyed.