Community – A group of people living together in one place, especially one practicing common ownership.
“It is not good for Man to be alone…” Genesis 2:18
“Don’t just pretend to love others. Really love them. Hate what is wrong. Hold tightly to what is good. Love each other with genuine affection, and take delight in honoring each other.” Romans 12:9-10
God tells us in the Bible that doing life together is imperative. It is the way God works through us and through other people to bring about His glory. Our lives are for His glory. We were created to emit His glory and impart His goodness into the world. In the Bible, the church is often referred to as “The Bride of Christ,” or “The Body.”
“For just as the body is one and has many members, all of the members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ. For in one Spirit we were all baptized into one body…For the body does not consist of one member but of many. If the foot should say ‘because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body,’ that would not make it any less a part of the body. And if the ear should say, ‘because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body,’ that would not make it any less a part of the body. If the whole body were an eye, where would the sense of hearing be? If the whole body were an ear what would the sense of smell be? But as it is, God arranged the members in the body each one of them, as he chose…The parts of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable, and those parts of the body that we think less honorable we bestow the greater honor, and our unpresentable parts are treated with greater modesty, which our more presentable pats do not require. But God has so composed the body, giving greater honor to the part that lacked it, that there may be no division in the body, but that the members may have the same care for one another. If one member suffers, all suffer together, If one member is honored, all rejoice together.” 1 Corinthians 12:12-26
“Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good” 1 Corinthians 12:7
“Encourage each other daily, as long as it is called today” Hebrews 3:13
“Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves” Philippians 2:3
“Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen” Ephesians 4:29
“Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ” Galatians 6:2
“Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous (wo)man is powerful and effective” James 5:16
“And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds” Hebrews 10:24
“Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God’s grace in its various forms” 1 Peter 4:10
God’s Word is clear about the importance of relationships and community. While the therapeutic world identifies healthy relationships as a resource for emotional healing, God teaches us about this value clearly in The Bible. We are to not only be consumers, but participants in the adventure of life! He has chosen us, appointed us, situated us, and anointed us for a time such as this.
Have you ever joined a gym? You do not become a member at a local gym in order to simply have a place to hang out. You join a gym with the hopes enhancing your health and wellness through hard work.
Similarly, We are changed and transformed into looking more like Jesus the more we participate in what He is doing on the Earth, particularly among His Body!
We must first and foremost trust that God wants to heal us through a personal relationship with Him. While He will use community instrumentally in our lives to help us to learn, align our lives with His Word, and provide comfort and friendship, it is key that our priority is to behold His goodness and fall madly in love with Him before we fall in love with His creation.
“The generous will prosper, Those who refresh others will themselves be refreshed” Proverbs 11:25
With our eyes fixed on our King we must first know that He will provide for all of our needs. This includes emotional needs. He is a good God and an excellent provider. We simply must position ourselves to receive from Him. This occurs in our quiet time with Him and extends into our relationships with other people. Part of receiving is giving. We must ask God to use us as instruments in other people’s lives. It is often through surrender and servitude that God works the deepest healing in our hearts.
“Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, to make you obey its passions. Do not present your body members to sin as instruments for unrighteousness, but present yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life, and your body to God as instruments for righteousness.” Romans 6:13
Just as we humble ourselves to be givers, even in our place of hurt, we must often humble ourselves to receive help and support from the Body of Christ. Have grace for those around you to speak into the place you are struggling. Even if that person has not experienced it themselves, have faith that God can speak through his children into your life! Have eyes to see and ears to hear what God is saying to you through the members of your community.
It is through giving, speaking encouragement, and taking action that we edify the Body of Christ. It is through listening that we are pruned. God loves to prune those who are growing! (John 15). Our goal is to grow into the fullness of who He created us to be as an individual and as a Body. He has taken up residence in your heart because He wants to work through you to serve other believers in your life. As you spend time with Jesus, ask how He wants to use you in your community each day.
Part 6 of grief & loss curriculum