Christian community doesn’t just happen. It requires intentionality and a willingness to step outside our comfort zones. Many social, psychological, and spiritual issues can be healed when we allow Jesus to touch us through brothers and sisters who care. As we prayerfully listen, respond, and engage in real Christ-honoring relationships we can become instruments of healing in the hands of God.
While there are many issues that can prevent us from experiencing true Christian community, when we find the courage to connect with one another, many of these issues will be resolved. Fears, especially social phobias, dissipate as we build trust in our closest relationships. The need to look good, shame about past sins, and embarrassment about current struggles can be persistent barriers to real Christian community. But once we discover that the perfect love of Christ resides in His children (our brothers and sisters in the Lord), we need not fear judgement or rejection. This rarely happens quickly or easily; trust takes time and we often damage the tender beginnings of friendship by a perceived lack of love. Yet, this is the process God uses to nurture His people – an ongoing dance of reaching out to one another (and Christ in our midst) as we become His family of faith – firmly founded on His forgiveness.
No matter what destructive attacks the Enemy uses to try to divide us, Christian unity and brotherly love will not be defeated. Satan can try to turn us against one another, and our hearts may at times feel empty of love, but apathy about the needs of others is usually based in fears or resentments from the past. Our future together as God’s children starts now and it will last forever! Nothing in the past can compare to the loving connections that God is creating in His Body the Church!
So, however difficult it seems, don’t let pride, uncertainty, old relational wounds, or an unhealthy level of self-sufficiency keep you isolated from your eternal family – the children of God with whom you belong. Christ died to defeat division, dissension, discord and deadly hostilities. He came to give us an abundant life together and to show us how to love each other well. No matter how difficult the journey becomes – keep moving toward true community. He is with us and in us, and He will always be our Champion and our faithful Friend.
As little children let’s run toward Jesus and let Him teach us how to love. When we bump into or rub against each other, our little stone-like hearts will get sharpened and reshaped – and we will continue to learn how to love and forgive.
Help us, Jesus, to love one another as You gather us together in Your eternal embrace.