Individually, we are one drop. Together, we are an ocean. – Ryunosuke Satoro
We are not designed to be alone; we are not wired to be secluded or separate from one another. We are designed to thrive in community and strive for connection.
“Coming together is a beginning; keeping together is progress; working together is success”. – Henry Ford
Learning to endure the ways of the world and to fight the pressure of our peers as a follower of Christ is no easy task. Some do not understand the way we choose to live and to live following Jesus is one of the most radical experiences in life. It will turn what you thought you believed upside down, it can allow hate to be love, the rich to be humble and can give power to the weak.
According to the word there should be attention drawn to ourselves and questions about the way we live our lives. It is in these questions and through communication about our lives that we are to minister our testimony and give real life examples of His word and to be a living example of His love.
THAT is where the danger can creep in. It will creep in the form of false profits, in the small twist we put on his word and the dulling down of the truth to fit “today’s lifestyle”. When we are in community and we allow them to step in as a form of checks and balance and a level of accountability. Being alone or separated from friends and family makes it hard to have accountability and even harder to see how far you are off the path. Learning to allow others to speak the words of God into your life when you fall is not as easy as it sounds either, the last thing I want to hear when I’m down is how much I have messed up and that comes from my own shame not the ones reaching out to me.
With me, when I have fallen or walked away from my path the first thing I do is begin to separate from community. I push away friends and those who are close in order to stand on my own. This simple act of separation allows evil to creep in, like picking a single gazelle out of the pack to devour, I am alone for the picking. In that time the fight seems to settle in my mind, the struggle seems to weaken and that is exactly what the enemy wants us to think. Reality is, my separation has created the calm before the storm and when that storm arrives I will not be ready to fight it and hold on.
Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him. – James 1:12 (NIV)
Why struggle alone?
Struggle together, fight together and learn together!
It takes a community to raise a family and it takes a family to create a community
Image credits – Alone In The Fog 2 Digital Art by Gun Legler http://becuo.com/man-standing-alone-art