What are you reinforcing in life? You’re strengthening whatever you spend the most time and energy on. We do the same within the communities in which we live, including our churches. We either reinforce the church family around us with God’s love, compassion, accountability, discipline, and support, or we reinforce the judgments, divisions, and self-centeredness. We reinforce the cohesiveness of the community or the separation of individuals.
Our arguments drive people away from the church instead of attracting them, which means they miss out on the joy, strength, and security of living for God’s Kingdom. Consider the local church, including the one you attend. What are the topics that are currently dividing individuals? How eternally important are those topics? Are projects put before people? Is too much time spent on details and not enough on dreams? Does fixing problems overshadow fixing processes? Narrow the focus a bit further. The local church is made up of individuals, including you. How are you separating others? How are you separating yourself? Sometimes we withdraw one step at a time for a variety of reasons and then wonder why no one is investing in us.
God created us for community. It’s going to be messy at times. We’re human. We’ll have disagreements, personality conflicts, and problems to solve. We’ll have to set aside our personal agendas for God’s agenda. We’ll have to set aside our pride for humility. We’ll have to reserve our energy to fight only with God’s weapons to protect only his territory. We’ll let God define the boundaries instead of us. We’ll yield in obedience instead of trying to take control.
Two are better than one because they have a good return for their labor.For if either of them falls, the one will lift up his companion. But woe to the one who falls when there is not another to lift him up.Furthermore, if two lie down together they keep warm, but how can one be warm alone? And if one can overpower him who is alone, two can resist him. A cord of three strands is not quickly torn apart. (Ecclesiastes 4:9-12)