Saturday, April 28, 2012

Living Life Together: Community

Here is my 5 minute writing on: Community

There is a difference between friends and community. I mean, a friend can be part of your community, but just because you call someone "friend" doesn't mean you have community.

As confusing as this sounds, please let me explain.

To me, community involves "living life together". It requires going deeper and knowing more about the other people in your community then just what car they drive or how many kids they have. To have community you need both trust and vulnerability, a willingness to share your needs, desires, struggles, as well as your triumphs.

I'm convinced we have become so distracted by our daily responsibilities and activities that we tell ourselves it takes MORE work to live in community then to live without it. But I have personally experienced the benefits.

Living life together means sharing the good, the bad, and the ugly of life. It means sharing the day to day. When we share our lives with others it opens the door for blessings. When I know what's going on in the life of another person I can pray for them, offer help, carry burdens (Galatians 6:2) and vice versa.

When I live in community with others I know I can ask them for help when I need it. That they are there for me, supporting me in the deepest parts of my life. They know all my "junk" so every time we get together we don't have to "start over". We can just pick up where we left off.

Living in community means consistency and commitment to one another and it affords a level of care for each other that is deep, loyal, and steadfast.

I see God in community.

I feel connected, cared for, and valued.

We all have a desire for that kind of connection and acceptance. God made us that way.

Do you have anyone you are "living life" with?

Linking with "5 minute Friday"...

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

A Bleeding Heart

Have you ever seen a dog chase its tail? Round and around Fido goes and just never catches it. Is it the thrill of the chase? Or does he think at some point, by running faster or reaching farther, he will get it?

I feel like Fido a lot of the time.

As much as I try to do, achieve, or be it's never enough. As hard as I try I find myself running around in circles trying to do it all. And somewhere along the way, I forget the reason I'm doing it in the first place.

My inner Mary and Martha (Luke 10:38-42) are at war with each other. As much as I try to be a good listener, rester, or waiter on God, the Martha in me is convinced that it is my doing that gives me worth and value to others.

Perfectionism teases me into thinking I can actually do it all and do it well, and it is unacceptable if I cannot.

It was a good friend who reminded me that God loves me right now. He's not waiting until I reach "the goal". He does not withhold his love until I get it right.  He doesn't keep a running tally of each obstacle I have overcome or the number of sins I've eradicated once and for all. Nor does he condemn me (Romans 8:1-3) for the mistakes I've made and repented of, no matter how big or how small they are.

This life is not about being the best, but about trying our best. It's not about what we do, but what motivates us to do it. Is it Love? Is it God? Is it a bleeding heart?

Do you feel defeated because you can't do it all? Do you see anything less then perfection as failure?

We are held captive by the idea that we have to have it all figured out before we can be of any use. But God uses the weak to lead the strong (1 Corinthians 1:26-31). "While we were still sinners Christ died for us" (Romans 5:8). He didn't die for the rule followers, the perfect people, or the ones who are without sin.

He died for you and for me so that we could live a new life in Christ (2 Corinthians 5:17). A new life that challenges us to follow His guidebook, utilize the Holy Spirit (John 14:26, Ephesians 1:13-14), and experience a relationship with a God who loves unconditionally, "not limited in any way, complete and absolute."

So we can surrender the idea that we have to be more then we are. We can live free from our self-imposed "rules" knowing that Christ loves us right now, just as we are. That He wants our hearts and minds to be focused on Him and our motivation to be out of Love.

And He doesn't want us to miss out on all that God is because we're too busy chasing our tails to see it.

Linking up with Ann Voskamp for "Walk With Him Wednesdays" and Jennifer for "Getting Down with Jesus"
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