As we continue our discussion on how important it is to live in community, I want to remind you that: We need encouragement as we live in community, and that our unique life experiences comfort one another.
We need accountability
Proverbs 12:15 bluntly shares, “Fools think their own way is right, but the wise listen to others.” It is so easy for any of us to mess up – just about anything we could want can be within our grasp at any given moment. Without loving people who live in community with us to hold us accountable to doing what is right, and/or who are there to listen to us struggle, we are in a dangerous position.
The world tells us if we’re not happy, we need to make a change. Sometimes those “changes” make all the sense in the world to our way of thinking – unhappy marriage vs. spending time with someone at work who listens, being responsible with the money we have vs. buy all you want now on a credit card, or how about tell your kids “no” vs. being the “cool” parent. Without a voice of reason to challenge our thinking, we quickly run astray.
Others enrich our lives spiritually
2 Corinthians 4:17 explains, “For our present troubles are small and won’t last very long. Yet they produce for us a glory that vastly outweighs them and will last forever!“ Interacting with people on a regular basis can be challenging to say the least. But conflicts and difficulties with others will test our faith. Will we be obedient to what we’re called to do? Will we choose to see them through God’s eyes, or only through our own bitterness? These questions can only be answered when one chooses to live in community with others.
So I challenge you to take a moment and reflect on your busy schedule. It’s easy to have a lot of people around you all day long, but not one of them truly know who you are. We’re using the phrase “How are you?” as a greeting, just like “Hello”, rather than truly being interested in the person.
What steps can you take to start allowing people into your sphere of life in a real way and live in community with them?