It’s Not “Either/Or” but “Both/And”

by Kathi Pelton

So much of life with Christ is not found in an “either/or” answer or posture but rather a “both/and” agreement.

Some examples:

• Is the prayer/worship or evangelism/discipleship more important?

— It’s both/and! Prayer and worship sets the field or prepares the atmosphere so that hearts are softened and the air is clear for eyes to see and ears to hear.

• Are those who go or those who give more important?

— It’s both/and! How can people go without those who give? It’s a partnership in which we have opportunities to do both. The reward and credit is the same in God’s eyes!

• Should we battle darkness or gaze upon His beauty?

— It’s both/and! Intimacy is not left in the place of gazing when we enter the spiritual battles. It is an unbroken bond of intimacy that fights together and retreats to rest together. They are equally important.

• Should we take our homes/city or go to the other cities/nations?

—It’s both/and! As a mom I spend a lot of time with my natural family nurturing, loving and making a home where His presence abides; but I also go out to strengthen other’s children, marriages and homes. We must stay and we must go because what we build in our homes and cities become what we can bring to strengthen another’s home and city (or nation).

• Do we preach love or truth?

—Both love abs truth! The love described in 1 Corinthians 13 is the only love that is filled with truth! All other love is conditional but agape love does not demand something in return.

There are more examples then I’d ever be able to post but these are just a few. People often have a “for or against” posture or an “either/or” posture but that comes from the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. It creates separate camps and divisions over opinions, interpretations, human knowledge, limited understanding, different cultures, etc. The tree of life yields the sweet fruit of John 17:21. It is the unity/oneness that the Father, Son and Holy Spirit share and enjoy that we have been invited into.

Though they are One in every way, we can enter into that oneness and nurture unity with our brothers and sisters by laying down our right to be right. I’m not talking about compromising convictions but acknowledging that we all see in part and carry different parts in different seasons. Every part of the five-fold is equally important and needed to see the fullness of the Kingdom established. Every part of the body is needed to perform the function that they were created for. Every expression is a revelation of a facet of His beauty. Not one of us is completely “right” in our understanding of scripture or application of scripture but God sees our hearts and the motivation of our hearts. We are clothed in His righteousness in the midst of our imperfections and even misrepresentations of His true nature. We ask for clean hands and pure hearts so that our greatest longing is to see Him receive what He died for…mankind!

Let’s move away from the either/or and for/against mindset and begin to eat of the tree of life until we see the longing of Jesus’ prayer in John 17:21 fulfilled.

He deserves His prayer to be answered by a people who will humble themselves before Him and one another in the only “camp” worth living in…the tent of Jesus!

“that they may all be one, just as you, Father, are in me, and I in you, that they also may be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me.” John‬ ‭17:21‬ ‭

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