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Created for Community

God created us for community. In Genesis 2, God said that it was not good for man to be alone, so God created Eve. When Elijah became depressed and ran to the wilderness, God pursued him, offered rest and companionship in a lonely time. David had a deep friendship with Jonathan. In the apostle Paul’s writings, he always said hello to those in another city and checked on people. Paul always had people with him in ministry. He wrote personal letters to Timothy, Titus, and Philemon. In Acts 2:40-47 we see a small group of people huddled together, we call them the church. I realize that many people have a problem with the church or organized religion. Many people have been deeply hurt by the church and for that I am greatly sadden. God in His infinite wisdom saw benefit in putting people with various backgrounds, races, experience, and socioeconomic standings together in what we call the church. There are benefits to our spiritual lives. The church is not a man made “thing.” Christ bled and died for the church. The church is God’s idea. Do people in the church rub me wrong? Absolutely! But here is God’s wisdom. When I stop and see my internal response to that person in the church who hurts me, I will see just how much I need to grow. When they hurt me, I see in me a desire to hurt them back or to argue and prove that I am right. Maybe I feel the need to tell others what that person has done to get them on my side. In doing this I have completely ignored God’s word.

Matthew 5:23-24

23 Therefore if you bring your gift to the altar, and there remember that your brother has something against you, 24 leave your gift there before the altar, and go your way. First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift.

Why in the world would God ask me to do this? This process, described above in Matthew, humbles me. I am required to get my heart in the right place before I talk to anyone. Reconciliation and unity become more important than me being right. Too many churches are filled with people who don’t like the person across the aisle. They smile and are cordial, but they don’t care for them, much less love them. They also don’t see that it hurts their own spiritual life and stunts their spiritual growth. This is just one example of how the difficulty of being a church brings a blessing. The difficulty is actually a tool that God uses to develop me spiritually. My response to people often times reveals my carnal nature. Truthfully, it reveals just one more area in my life that God is working on. The reality is God designed us to be in community and I need that community.

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