Heart for Community

“Brothers and sisters, if anyone is caught in any transgression, you who are spiritual should restore him in a spirit of gentleness. Keep watch on yourself, lest you too be tempted. Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.” (Galatians 6:1-2)

(July 11, 2014)

It’s almost been about a week here and I feel like I’m already learning so much but it also feels like there’s so much I need to do/change about my leadership. It’s only the first week! Imagine the list of things that would need to be changed after a month! It’s ridiculous and intimidating and by myself I seriously don’t think I would be able to do it. Without God it’s  impossible but with God…with God imagine all the things that could be done…

So far I’ve realized that I need a total heart makeover, maybe even transplant when it comes to others but especially with my family in Christ. I think I’ve been living with this mentality that if you’re calling yourself Christian you should have your stuff together in terms of at least wanting to bring the Kingdom to earth; to glorify Him. But that’s such bad and hypocritical logic because I’m not doing it well either and I haven’t been gently encouraging them either. I’ve had such an inward focus on my own hurt and brokenness since joining InterVarsity that I really haven’t even considered their perspectives or needs…

One for All and All for Community

Like with any group, community for Christians is important. For me, Christian community comes second only after follow Christ. Community for Christians should

  1. restore the fallen and gently and carefully (Galatians 6:1). Christians are the furthest people from being perfect. I’m a good example of that. Even more reason why we need community of fellow believers to keep us accountable. One of the best things I’ve done this past year was having a friend be my main accountability partner. Of course, there are other people in my life who keep me accountable in my walk with Christ but I really think it’s important that every Christian, no matter how old you are, have at least one Christian friend who knows most if not all of your story and who is willing and committed to pray and keep you accountable and you the same with them. There was actually one moment during IVLI where I really needed prayer over something that I had struggled with in the past that had come back up. Of course, I could have asked anyone on the campus there to pray for me and without hesitation they would, but there’s something to be said about being able to text this friend with very limited info in said text and knowing that she would be able to narrow down the source of my issue to at least 3 issues that constantly pop up for me.
  2. bear one another burdens (Galatians 6:2). Christians can get sad. Christians can get depressed. We are human. Sometimes people feel discouraged, unvalued, like they’re living under a spiritual cloud. Whether it’s something as simple as needing a pep talk after a difficult conversation about faith or something like waiting in the waiting room as a friend who is struggling with depression sees a therapist for the first time, we are a community. Of course, that doesn’t mean you let someone walk all over you but if you see someone struggling with something you would not just turn a blind eye but see if there was anything possible that you could do to alleviate that person’s weight, even if it’s just listening to them.
  3. reject vain glory (Galatians 6:4-5). This is essentially the idea that we take glory for things that we take glory for things that don’t deserve it which stops people from paying attention to others. This could be something like, “I already donated to that one charity so I’m not going to help the person on the street asking me to buy them a small cup of coffee for the cold night”.
  4. provide generously for a teaching ministry (Galatians 6:6). We’re willing to pay thousands of dollars for a degree that may or may not get us a job after graduation and yet we’re not willing to sacrifice that same money to delve deeper into God’s teachings.
  5. persevere in doing good (Galatians 6:7-10). I think this one is pretty self-explanatory.

No community is perfect, not even a Christian community. I mean, the community at IVLI was great but given another month, I wouldn’t be surprised if there were more difficult conversations than was initially had. What I’m saying is a Christian community is filled with broken people. We are sinners who intentionally or unintentionally make mistakes. The only redemptive thing about a Christian community is the fact that we can find hope in Jesus, and it is that hope that drives us forward together as a community if we’re willing to put in the effort.

We are one in the Spirit, we are one in the Lord
We are one in the Spirit, we are one in the Lord
And we pray that our unity will one day be restored
And they’ll know we are Christians by our love, by our love
Yeah they’ll know we are Christians by our love

We will work with each other, we will work side by side
We will work with each other, we will work side by side
And we’ll guard each man’s dignity and save each man’s pride
And they’ll know we are Christians by our love, by our love
Yeah, they’ll know we are Christians by our love.

IVLI Community

 

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