The Common Denominator

One of my favorite subjects in middle school was math.  I especially enjoyed fractions once I got the hang of it.  I liked the deductive process of getting the common denominator for each fraction in the problems.  After the common denominator was found, the problem became much easier to solve.

The denominator is the bottom number of the fraction of a whole number.  When there are two or more fractions being added together or subtracted, before the simple math takes place, there must first be a common denominator, or the bottom numbers must be the same.  Otherwise, the fractions cannot be joined together to solve the problem.  Although the fractions may have similarities, they fail to have enough in common so that they can be combined in the problem-solving process.

In our lives, we often find ourselves around others that we lack things that we have in common.  There has been much division in our society and in the world that some would say is unprecedented.  Of course, there are common differences that are found in marriage relationships, and other close relationships that we experience in our everyday lives.  However, there is a common denominator that we can all refer to when nothing else works.  All of us need forgiveness and grace, especially if we want to live a life in right fellowship with God.  Romans 3:23-24 says: “…all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus.”

Therefore, a common denominator in all our lives is that each of us miss the mark.  In a basketball game, it does not matter if the basket was missed barely, or totally, in either case, the basket does not count.  We all need grace to make the basket.

Finally, to help prevent differences from causing division in our society, marriages, and other relationships, we must find the common denominator.  In all cases, sin is a common problem which can only be remedied by a personal relationship with Jesus Christ (Romans 3:24-25).  When we think we are doing well, it is important not to boast or think too highly of ourselves as if the there is no common denominator among us.  Instead, there ought to be a willingness to extend grace to others which is needed by all.

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