One of the things that has been really helpful to me over the last few years has been the little word “of.” When you use that word you are talking about belonging. If something or someone is “of” something or someone…then it belongs to them. That little word of is in the phrase/name “Church of Christ.” I think that is the perfect descriptor of who we are as God’s people (notice the ‘s there) because our lives are not our own. Paul told us that in 1 Cor 6:19-20 that we are not our own (we do not possess ourselves) because we have been bought at a price so we belong to God.
This is helpful in many ways because it reminds us that the One to whom things belong is the One who is ultimately responsible to what happens to their possessions. If we are God’s (or Christ’s) and the church is God’s…then we must be assured that we are just stewards or tenants but that ultimately the owner will show up and help us to see that it was His all along. Church problems? Remember, it is His church not yours. People problems? Remember, they are his people…not yours. Leadership issues? Remember, those elders and ministers are His too…not yours. I didn’t pay the price. You didn’t pay the price. God did through Christ. So no one owes me anything…it all goes back to God.
That is powerful to me because it takes the pressure off for me to try to control the outcomes, control people or call shots I have not been asked to call. Instead, it allows me to rest in the assurance that at the end of the day, “God has this!”