Have you ever resisted letting people in? Have you ever tried as best as you could to avoid engaging in community?
Community is a difficult thing. Pastors preach on it well, church series address it well, and for the most part we get that it’s a positive thing, a desired addition by many. But many of us have been connected to a community that deeply hurt us, and we’re not excited about diving headfirst again into yet another unexplored ocean of vulnerability. We don’t want our hearts to hope for or invest in something that will just be snatched away. We don’t want to trust the wrong people. And we know we can survive alone if we have to.
When the Creator of the universe first thought of us and handmade us, He designed us to be in community —with God and with each other. Community is not an optional add-on in our Amazon cart that we can choose before we check out the main items. It’s essential for our lives to reach their full potential. Community empowers us not only to complete the tasks God has called us to but to become the people He has made us to be.
The Enemy knows this. And he’s playing his hand as best he can to eliminate any threat to his plans of division and depravity. Frankly, he’s playing it how I would.
If I were the Enemy, and my goal was for people to never access the full life available to them and never live out the purpose God has for them,
- I would throw any possible division I could to keep people far from community;
- I would speak lie after lie to people about how they don’t need community or why they can’t possibly have community, about how they’re below and disqualified from having a community, or why they are above or too good for having a community
- I would try to instill within them exclusive standards and snobbish expectations for a community so they wouldn’t see the real people truly available to them;
- and anytime someone would consider the risk of letting a person into the vulnerable places of their heart, I would whisper, “Remember the last time you did this? Remember how hurt you were by community?” I would use any old wound and fear I could to keep God’s people from living the lives we were made to live.
The Enemy is a liar. It’s time to expose his lies. It’s time to stop listening to them. It’s time to shine truth on our soul’s true need for people we can do life with.
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Excerpted with permission from How (Not) to Save the World by Hosanna Wong, copyright Hosanna Wong.
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Community can be hard. Choosing to invest in community after being hurt by people is even harder. But, it’s part of what we’re created for — we’re the Body of Christ. The enemy would love nothing more than to steal that from us. Don’t let him! Come share your thoughts with us. We want to hear from you! ~ Laurie McClure, Faith.Full