Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Living in Community

We all are a part of some kind of community. We are a member of a family, the smallest community and the basic building block for larger communities. Some of us are part of a church, where we worship and serve the Lord as a community of believers. Some of us have the workplace, which is a type of community where it is especially important that people work well together. And we have neighborhoods, cities and other communities that we are a part of.

Although we are social beings, created to be in community, living in community is not always easy – our sin nature gets in the way. Because it isn’t easy, God gave has given us many guidelines in the Bible. As social beings we all live in community, and life will go well if we practice what the Bible tells us, such as bear with one another, practice forgiveness, and have agape love for all. Christians living peaceably in community is a good witness to the world. As the song says, “They will know we are Christians by our love.”

How we live in community determines how people will view us as people of faith. We are here to honor God with our lives, to be that shining light on a hill. I encourage you to examine all of your relationships: family, church, neighborhood, workplace. Look for areas where love is lacking and forgiveness is needed, and where compassion, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience need to be practiced. In doing so, your own life will improve: reduced stress, less anger and resentment, more harmony, and the assurance that you are doing the right thing.

Life is too short to bear grudges or carry around a load of resentment. Commit this week to work on those relationships that need fixing so the peace of Christ can truly rule in your heart. See Colossians chapters 2 to 4 for some guidelines for living together in community.

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