Community is Hard Work

Posted on 02. Sep, 2010 by in Community, The Body

I love blogging, both the act of blogging, because it helps me develop my thought processes more clearly, but also reading others blogs, because it exposes me to the wisdom and understanding that the Spirit has planted in others.   I just finished reading a post by Keith Giles, at Subversive1.  If you haven’t read Keith’s blog, check it out.  He really has great things to say, and the post linked to below is no exception.

subversive1: THE MINISTRY OF ROBERT HIGGINS TO ME.

In this post Keith talks about his service to a gentleman named Robert, that has cancer, and it brought to mind something I’ve been kicking around in my head for awhile (there’s a lot of space up there).

I talk plenty about community.  I long for community.  I love relationships and desire to develop relationships in Christ.

….sometimes.

You see, I find that my flesh gets in the way of my experience of community, because I am either selfish, and don’t want to share those I am close to with others, or I am afraid to reach out for fear of rejection, or I would just rather be alone and not mess with other people.  I know, it sounds awful, and it is.

Something else I noticed at the worship conference I attended is how difficult it is for the body to relate to one another.  I think there is an instinctive lack of trust in others, at least there is in me.  I am quick to think the wrong thing of others’ actions, and am afraid that others will think wrong of mine.  Its like we’re all trying to dance together, but can’t get in the same rhythm, so we just keep stepping all over each other.  I think it will take some serious commitment to community to break through these barriers, and this is why Keith’s post spoke to me.  Keith has gone to great lengths to serve another human.  Interestingly he finds that the longer he serves the easier it becomes.  I think serving others changes us, and brings about maturity, because, as Keith notes, in serving Robert, Keith has learned a lot about himself and about Christ.

In dealing with my own difficulties with relationships and community, I find the source to be from my childhood (a very freudian thing to say, but true), where I decided at some point to not rely on others, and just take care of myself.  I have struggled with this, and prayed for understanding and deliverance, but the problem has remained.  While going to get groceries for lunch at the conference, the Lord spoke something to me.  He said (not audibly) that I just have to do it.  I can not let my insecurities stand in the way.  I have to approach, love and serve others, and as I do, that barrier inside me will be destroyed.  But, as it so often is, the next step is mine!  It also helped just to understand the shift that took place so many years ago, to be self-reliant, because that is an untenable position in the body, and in my conscious mind I strive to have my full reliance in Him.  I see in this an opportunity to trust Him more, and that is what I want.

Thanks for bearing with my ramblings.

Tags: , ,

6 Responses to “Community is Hard Work”

  1. Alan Knox 2 September 2010 at 2:23 pm #

    Mark,

    This is an excellent post! Yes, community is hard work, and living in community with others requires us to prepare to be rejected and hurt and slandered and used and everything else under the sun. It’s dirty business. And, sometimes, even when we’re ready to give it our all, the people around us are not. So… we wait and trust God and fail and ask people to forgive us and keep working at it… knowing that God works through imperfect people (like us and like others) to develop us into the community (church) that he desires for us to be.

    Keep at it!

    -Alan

    • Mark 2 September 2010 at 3:14 pm #

      Alan,

      I have learned to deal with my flesh in regards to what I eat and how I spend my money and how I act, but didn’t fully see where my flesh came into play in dealing with other believers. The theme of sacrifice runs all the way through scripture, and I am continually reminded that I worship Him by sacrificing my “right” to be insecure, or whatever excuse I may come up with, and engage the body. How right you are when you say that the attempt to commune is not always reciprocated. “it’s dirty business”. I like that. I appreciated your comment to my question on your blog. I also hope your friend can find time to post, because I find it instructive to see what others have seen occur through their gatherings.

      Mark

  2. arthur davis 2 September 2010 at 8:55 pm #

    So, I looked into my eyes the other day (thru the mirror, of course) and told myself to quit the crap, so to speak, in Yeshua’s Name. I’ve been an on again- off-again smoker and drinker and basic sinner ever since I can remember. So, in Yeshua I live. Obey Yeshua is my motto and to seek Him and His truth is the plan. I’m tired and sick of barely doing anything for Him. It’s like I sabotauge myself until I feel bad enough to repent. After a while, I feel beat down and wonder if I will ever get out of this darkness. So, I just focus on this moment and obey Yeshua. Yesterday and today I’ve helped at the shelter serving food and bonding with the people. Bonding with the community. Bonding with people I have never seen before. People who line the sidewalks with their bikes and homemade trailers packed full with their current “stuff”. Eating enough food for a family of 4, some of them. I don’t pretend to know them. I don’t pretend to be someone special. I just obey Yeshua. I genuinely care about these people, my community, because of Yeshua in me. I could easily, very easily, sit home and smoke and play call of duty whenever I want. But then, I would be no good to my community, Yeshua, or myself. Sacrifice for the greater good, Yeshua. Who knows, He may be back sooner than anyone imagines. Shalom my online community. Yeshua bless you in your fruitfulness.

  3. Arthur Sido 3 September 2010 at 11:09 am #

    Great thoughts Mark. I find talking about community far easier than practicing it.

    • Mark 3 September 2010 at 2:44 pm #

      Arthur,

      So true. And practicing is a good word, because it takes conscious effort to do it, and takes dying to self consistently. You have spoken of this in the past, and that comes back to mind now. Thanks for the comment.

      Mark


Leave a Reply