Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Living in Community Brings Peace

Many people think that others are just not worth the effort: conflict and disagreements arise making community difficult. Yet, living as isolated hermits doesn't bring about the joy and peace God intended. Furthermore, it doesn't accurately demonstrate the nature of God when we chose to withdraw. Growing up as a preacher's kid, I was amazed at the different families who claimed to follow Christ but didn't have anything to do with a local body of believers. They argued that their personal relationship with God and their family was sufficient. But they were missing out on a deeper dimension. John Piper, in his book This Momentary Marriage, "How members of that family, the church, relate to each other as married and single will witness to the world that our lives are oriented on the supremacy of Christ and that our relationships are defined not just by nature, but by Christ. [...] God's family is more central and more lasting than the human family that comes into being by procreation, the implications for relationships are very important." (117)

"The physical presence of other Christians is a source of incomparable joy and strength to the believer... " Dietrich Bonhoeffer (emphasis mine)

I honestly don't know how I would function or survive without the body of believers in my small group and church. My husband graciously loves and helps me, yes, of course, and my mom is an endless source of support, but we need to look outside our family to other believers, seeking their understanding, prayer, and wisdom. And honestly, we just need to know that we aren't alone. We need someone to laugh with us, cry with us, and say, "Yeah, been there. It will get better."

"The end of all things is at hand; therefore be self-controlled and sober-minded for the sake of your prayers. Above all, keep loving one another earnestly, since love covers a multitude of sins. Show hospitality to one another without grumbling. As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God's varied grace..." I Peter 4:7-10

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