While the beautiful front side of a tapestry reveals the hard work and clarity of a design that would not exist without the diverse and colorful difference of the contrasting threads, the backside of a tapestry reveals to us that God’s people are always a work in progress. Some of us are wired up and can envision the beautiful perfection of community as God designed it to be but it is always helpful to remember that we won’t be that until we see Him face to face.
John 3:2 says, “Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made known. But we know that when he appears, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is.” True, the transforming work of the gospel is growing us and changing us with ever increasing glory (2 Corinthians 3:18). Yet, we still carry with us some of the marks of our past life. Even Paul said, “Here is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners—of whom I am the worst. But for that very reason I was shown mercy so that in me, the worst of sinners, Christ Jesus might display his unlimited patience as an example for those who would believe on him and receive eternal life” (1 Timothy 1:15-16).
It’s for that reason we need to be sure to live a life evidenced by humility and forgiveness. Imperfect people need God’s guidance and power to exemplify the traits Paul lists in Colossians 3:12-14:
Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.
It is through this kind of living that we will experience the perfect unity and community life that is a beautiful tapestry of God’s grace to a watching a world.
What areas of your life are still a work in progress where you need God’s mercy and power to live as His chosen one?
Is there someone in your life to whom God is calling you to show His mercy and forgiveness?