Do you live in community with others? Community seems to be a “buzz-word” over the past few years–often overused or misunderstood. But very honestly, would you ask yourself, “Am I truly living?” And then ask yourself, “Am I truly living in community?”
Truly living means that we fully become the person/people that God intends for us to become. We discern our false self from our true self. We walk in full assurance of our identity as a redeemed and beloved Child of God. We discover our gifts; we learn to listen and love; we confess and repent of our sinful deeds. This kind of life is best and most fully lived in the context of a Christian, spiritual community. So ask yourself, are you truly living? And, are you doing so in community?
Busyness. Fear of man. Fear or intimacy. Past wounds and pain. Prejudice. Arrogance. Each of these can keep us from authentically engaging in community.
But when we lay these aside, we are able to enter into intimacy with one another that “brings out the very best of what God desires to create, redeem, sustain or transform in our daily lives” (Crafting A Rule of Life, Macchia, 153). Indeed, we not meant to live in a “It’s just me and Jesus” mentality. No, we were meant to truly and fully live in community with one another. We come alive as we learn to live in community together.
As you create or re-evaluate your personal rule of life, would you consider how you are receiving God’s invitations to truly live in authentic community? Are you overcommitted and, therefore, unable to engage in community? Have you been hurt by a community before and find it too painful to re-enter? Are you prejudice towards those who are unlike you? Inquire of the Lord if there is anything that is keeping you from truly living in community with the people of God.
May we all be marked with humility as we seek to live together in the spiritual communities the Lord would have for us. May we learn to listen to and love one another well. And may we find ourselves truly living as we abide in community together.