Growing together

My wife once said she felt I could be quite happy off by myself somewhere secluded – almost like a hermit.

I have never tested her theory, but I now realize I couldn’t do it.

In fact, I don’t think God made me – or anyone else – to live completely alone.  We are all meant for relationship with each other – and with God.

God knew that truth at the very beginning of time.  He made Eve to be a companion of Adam’s.

The interesting thing is that many North American Christians seem to think they can live their faith lives alone with God – not involving anyone else.

Some relatives of my wife’s decided that no church really fit their requirements.  So they worshipped alone at home.

Indeed, many Christians today decide to abandon a church that annoys them.  There is no attempt to work out disagreements and accept differences – especially differences over non-essentials.

But God uses troubles to shape us more into the image of Jesus Christ.  We are asked by Jesus and the apostles to be filled with the Holy Spirit and to be like Christ in the way we deal with each other.

In other words, we need each other – warts and all – to become the people God wants us to be.

I don’t like to be pushed.  And yet I realize that, if left on my own, I wouldn’t change.  I need to be moved along by God through other people.

I have learned a lot about myself and my weaknesses over the last few years, particularly in church leadership.

I didn’t like to go through the trials I faced.  Yet, I now realize I have a much better idea of human nature and our need for the power of God to surmount our differences.

Jesus says that we can do nothing without him.

I know that is true.

I learned that through relationships with others.  It’s unlikely I would have learned it any other way.


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