Headlines from First Thoughts

Sunday, June 11, 2006

Money Talks

One of the best kept secrets about First Baptist Knoxville has been our Pastoral Counselor who has been here for nearly 30 years. He writes a regular column on my church's website entitled, "Money Talks." Here's his latest entry. To read more, go to the Money Talks link on my church website.

Differences are Attractive but Difficult

Differences are so attractive but they are so difficult. Relationships are often created by differences. Those same differences challenge, divide, and test us. For example, in marriage, marital researchers convince us that differences attract. When we look for a marital partner, we do not look for someone like us. We look for someone to complete us.

Sydnor and I often talk about our differences and how they attracted us to one another. For example, Sydnor grew up at 1423 Madison Avenue. I grew up on Route 3. Sydnor grew up with two siblings. I grew up with eight. Sydnor grew up with much travel. I traveled to two other states—Georgia five miles away, and Florida, 80 miles away—till I was 20 years of age. Sydnor grew up with the expectation to finish college. I grew up with the expectation to finish high school. Sydnor grew up with banking. I grew up with farming.

The major difference that attracted me to Sydnor was that she was extroverted and comfortable with people. When I met her, I was looking for a wife. I was also looking for a wife that would compliment my call and profession. I needed her social skills. Her skills would make up for mine. And I married well!

That difference showed up on our marital screen when we moved back to South Carolina, to Darlington, which was only ten miles away from her hometown of Florence. Suddenly we were invited to many parties, many weddings, many family occasions; and my social appetite, that ate sparingly, was being overly fed. I found myself resenting the very piece that I needed and liked most about her.

Differences are a gift but at the same time they require hard work. Dealing with relational differences has been one of the defining issues of the church since Jesus created her. Over against his own heritage, Jesus created one of the most diverse communities imaginable. It was a community made up of Jews, Samaritans, and Gentiles. Those differences that Jesus sought to build into the tapestry of his New Kingdom became the very core of Paul’s teaching and ministry. They challenged the early church and eventually defined it.

What we do with differences, whether church or marriage, will have much to do with both who we are and who we become. Enjoy the gift but work hard!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hmm, needed to hear that. Quite pertinent, thanks.

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