I am so excited to share with you my FAVORITE thing about God… ready? I absolutely love that He is THREE in ONE!! He is the essence of community worked out in His very make up. Community has existed for all of time in God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit! C.S. Lewis explains it like this:
“God is love, and that love works through men—especially through the whole community of Christians. But this spirit of love is, from all eternity, a love going on between the Father and the Son.” (Mere Christianity)
Community is love in action! Have you intentionally put yourself in a position to love and be loved by other believers? What does that look like for you? And if you haven’t, why not? Here are 3 reasons I think we DON’T seek out community.
+ Self-Focus: Selfishness keeps us from focusing on anything but our own desires and comfort level. We think too much on what we would lose if we loved others and surrounded ourselves with fellow believers, but not enough on what we could possibly gain!
+ Busyness: We fill our calendars and schedules so full we have no time left for others. Sports, music, work, relaxing, cleaning, yard work, and the list goes on! God is an intentional God for OUR good and HIS glory. So, why do we fill up our time intentionally for ourselves? What would it look like for you to say no to another obligation and free yourself to say yes to the Body of Christ?
+ Fear: In Scripture we are told to “fear the Lord your God.” We are not told to fear man; he is in submission to God. We are to live in awe and reverence of the Lord and no one else. The fear of people’s opinions and criticism seeps so far into our hearts that we begin to flee God’s people. A young man in our church’s youth group once said, “you cannot pursue God and flee His people.” Um, powerful? YES! Fear keeps us apart and in the dark.
Community is important to our Lord and being in true union with other believers has many benefits! Here are just a few:
+ Iron sharpens iron: What better way is there to know our blind spots and hidden idols than to be surrounded with people who are uniquely created to be different than us? We are made to look at problems and handle conflict differently because it roots out our prideful flesh. We grow more like Jesus as we surrender our pride and seek humble unity with others.
+ Keeps our focus off ourselves: Being available to others allows us the mental space to take our minds off ourselves and our own problems. We begin to find that being involved in other people’s lives brings us joy as we invest in them and meeting the needs around us (1 Corinthians 12:25-27).
+ Encouragement: We are encouraged by knowing that we have people in our life who have our backs and love us enough to sacrifice their time to be there for us when we need them the most! When trouble comes, we have a group of spiritual family members just waiting to point us to Christ and pray for us (Ephesians 4:9-12).
We are called to love others – it is the second greatest commandment! We love others by being intentional with our time, finances, and commitment. Who are you committed too? If you are flying solo right now, I implore you to seek out community! Join a small group at church, mom’s group, or singles group. They don’t have to look like you and love all the things you do! That is the great part of community, we all bring our own experiences and wisdom to the table as a gift to each other! Share your life, be vulnerable, and wait for the blessing of community to break down the walls of self-focus and pride!