Identifying distinctions and differences can lead to stinginess. If I know you are x and I am y, then I automatically think I have less obligation to you as my brother in Christ. I’ll just stick closer with my fellow y’s and we will all be happier. But Christ is all in all, and in Him there is neither Greek nor Jew, slave or free, circumcised or not. Because of this we don’t use such differences as a justification to wrong or shortchange each other.
This is a particular danger among us. We don’t tend to just shrug our shoulders at the issues, and we also as a church accommodate different positions on several issues. It is easy to identify differences between us on some things, and this isn’t a bad thing, in itself. As we are renewed together into the Triune image of our Creator, we remain different persons. But in our differences, we come to one like-minded intent – the glory and enjoyment of God forever.
It is also easy to identify differences between us and the world and even the worldly church, and become stingy toward the world. This would lead to Joseph and Mary slamming the door in the face of the wise men, not wanting to contaminate their home with those eastern philosophies. Such a stinginess leads us to condemn too quickly as wrong, something that is not clearly wrong in Scripture. It is difficult to hold open arms to the world - to receive them as they come to Christ – while also keeping ourselves pure from the world. We either become worldly or close ourselves off from the world. But this is our calling: generosity to the world, and remaining pure from the world.This reminds us of our need to confess our sins. Have we been generous to those outside? Have we kept sin outside?