Christ-like Community

by Oct 18, 2019Article

Christ-like Community

Although I have much to write to you, I would rather not use paper and ink; instead I hope to come to you and talk with you face to face, so that our joy may be complete.

Every morning this fall, a darling friend of mine has texted me what she calls her “Daily Eggspiration”. These eggspirations are composed of a picture of herself looking like an egg (Gen Z humor, y’all), as well as an encouragement for my day. Just a few days ago, she sent me:

So maybe you’re confused and can’t imagine the next two hours, let alone the next two week or next two years. When you can’t imagine that, instead, imagine the God of the whole world bending over with His hand reaching out to you because that’s His exact posture, as it always has been and always will be.

Until the past few years, I had never had any Christ-seeking friendships. And allow me to say this: friendships which do not actively incorporate Christ into the relationship are not bad! But something God has been teaching me in this season of life is that I cannot pour all my energy and encouragement and love into those around me without being filled and poured into by my own community. It’s just too exhausting. I cannot do everything by myself.

God created us to live in community with each other; so we should be seeking a community who loves Jesus and actively seeks to live for Him, holding me accountable and lifting me up to do the same. In our broken world, individualism and and personal achievement have become idols for us. Yet, in the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth, which He called good. It was only when He looked at Adam alone did He say “It is not good for man to be alone” (Genesis 2:18)!

The tallest trees in the world are Redwood trees. These species can grow to be over 300 feet tall, and can live to be over two-thousand years old! Interestingly enough, these roots only go into the ground about 6-12 feet! What they lack in depth, they certainly make up for in expanse. A crucial part of their growth and development relies upon their roots systems. The roots grow together, overlapping, interlacing, and eventually even fusing together until one tree’s roots cannot be uprooted without displacing the entire forest. This is a perfect example of how God created community to be.

Dear Lord, we give thanks to You for giving us the gift of friendship and community. We lift up our friendships and relationships to You, praying that we can find our fulfillment in You alone and can encourage all those around us to do that same. Teach us to chase after You, never growing weary or complacent.

We should be actively pouring into our friends, crying when they cry, celebrating when they celebrate, and just being present for them. My dream for us is that when the enemy approaches one of us, he will find that he cannot break one down unless he breaks us all down.

The above verse from 2 John speaks the truth that God created us for Christ-like relationships and for community. Not all friendships are alike, but in this life, we will have troubles and we will need Christ-like encouragers to remind us who our Redeemer is.

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