A healthy Christian community is committed to loving each other, working with each other, and staying with each other. The Bible says, "You can develop a healthy, robust community that lives right with GOD and enjoy its results only if you do the hard work of getting along with each other, treating each other with dignity and honor" (James 3:18, Msg.).
This is more than a superficial, "to each his own" approach to getting along. It means we see the value of each individual in our group; we see each other as God's creations and as vessels of God's grace. It means we commit to being there for each other, "none of this going off and doing your own thing" (Colossians 3:15b, Msg.).
Building a community of commitment takes time. It means living life together beyond our weekly meetings and making each other a priority - sharing our lives over coffee, after class, at the ballgame, in our apartments.
Who -or what- are you committed to? Have you ever established an intentional commitment to someone (other than an opposite sex member)saying, "I want to grow close to you as a friend?
We've been so lucky to have several friendships like that...people I can call at any hour of the night and "impose" if I need to....people who know, just by looking at me, that something's wrong....people who will ask me those hard, personal questions about my intimacy with God or even my relationship with my husband. And, although the world sometimes sees that as "invading my privacy", I'm so incredibly grateful to have people who love me enough to ask the tough questions.
I'm praying today for my small group and the rest of CSF....that we'll have the desire and the strength necessary to invest in those kinds of life-giving relationships and gut it out over the long-haul. I'm tired of surface-level relationships....I'm ready for more real community.