Community Is Messy—God Is Not
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How good and pleasant it is when God’s people live together in unity! Psalm 133:1 NIV
In Christian community, many have experienced times of significant growth, encouragement, and a sense of belonging, while other seasons may have come with hurt, sadness, or loss. Community is messy, but it’s exactly what God called us to do with other believers!
Getting connected to a local church allows us to experience the type of community God talks about in His Word. Throughout Scripture, God calls us to love others above ourselves (Romans 12:10) and to carry their burdens (Galatians 6:2). When we belong to a local church, we can experience being with other believers and living out loving others and carrying their burdens, and the best part is that others will do that for us, too!
As we work together in church or other groups, we get to use our individual gifts, talents, and treasures. We all serve different purposes in God’s community, and no one person is more important than another. God has a purpose and plan for each of our lives, and we have a beautiful opportunity to live that out and serve God’s kingdom with other believers. Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s book Life Together says, “In a Christian community everything depends upon whether each individual is an indispensable link in a chain. Only when even the smallest link is securely interlocked is the chain unbreakable. … Every Christian community must realize that not only do the weak need the strong, but also that the strong cannot exist without the weak. The elimination of the weak is the death of the fellowship.”
Any time you bring people together, it can be messy. Different personalities and life experiences shape who we are and how we view every situation. But even when community feels messy, we know that God is not!
Remember that God has given us all the tools we need to work through these messes. Talk with God (prayer), read and meditate on His Word (Bible reading), and remember that through hard times we are being refined and made more like Jesus in the process!
Just as a body, though one, has many parts, but all its many parts form one body, so it is with Christ. For we were all baptized by one Spirit so as to form one body—whether Jews or Gentiles, slave or free—and we were all given the one Spirit to drink. Even so the body is not made up of one part but of many.
Scripture is quoted from THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
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