1 Thessalonians 5:11 New International Version (NIV)
Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.
My church is big on community and the importance of it. It is not just a teaching tool, but a living tool. Reaching out to others and making yourself available to speak to others first. Life isn't about all you, but others too. A find balance of time and words that go together. The Bible says:
Hebrews 10:24-25 New International Version (NIV)
And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, 25 not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.
SPUR ONE ANOTHER ON ~
Community which is a feeling of fellowship with others
Galatians 6:2-10 New International Version (NIV)
Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ. 3 If anyone thinks they are something when they are not, they deceive themselves.4 Each one should test their own actions. Then they can take pride in themselves alone, without comparing themselves to someone else, 5 for each one should carry their own load. 6 Nevertheless, the one who receives instruction in the word should share all good things with their instructor.
7 Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows.8 Whoever sows to please their flesh, from the flesh will reap destruction; whoever sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life. 9 Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. 10 Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers.
God has brought our lives together for a reason through this blog. I felt to share about community, because so many people do get hurt in reaching out or at church. Yet, Church is where I met some of the best people ever. I understand the part about being hurt, rejected or talked about in church. We must remember it's not everyone who hurts us, but usually only a few. Think about it, if it wasn't a kind word or something Jesus would say, then brush it off. I stayed out of church for almost one year because of hurtful words and actions. Then I felt God draw me back and open my understanding to what real community can be. My daughter was invited to attend Hillside Christian Church for a special event. She loved the church and invited us to attend. That was over 17 years ago and we are active in our church. Not only did others make a difference in our lives, but we have made a difference in others.
It is also about the neighborhood you live in, your job, a school and the list goes on. It's where a group of people gather for liked reasons. I like that we can be different but also liked minded. I like that we can agree to disagree at times of life. Each of us are different for a reason and it's important to let God shine through our lives.
God knows how to connect us but our yes matters. Our willingness to surrender our will to his will. Our willingness to let go of things we can not change but change the things we can. I hope that you view yourself the way God does and spur others on in life. You might be the only Jesus someone can see in their life. Maybe they won't attend church and they need to see the Jesus inside of you. Maybe it's a conversation you might have while waiting in a store line or helping at something.
My prayers continue for you, your family and friends.