I’m the commune type.
I used to tell people that I was seriously born in the wrong decade, about sixteen years too late. I know, now, that there are no mistakes as far as Abba is concerned. I’m right where I’m supposed to be, doing what I was made to do. That’s a good feeling. There’s a whole deep discussion there, but I have something else on my mind, today. Back to the farm.
I love the idea of people living together, sharing everything and being a family beyond the blood. I realize that this is not everyone’s cup of tea and I can respect that. As Christians, though, this is how it must be. I hate to break it to you, but you joined the community when you signed up with Jesus. And it’s not just about possessions. We share each others joys and sorrows, good times and bad times, victories and defeats. Loving my brother is a conscious decision. It doesn’t just happen, I have to work at it.
The most wonderful thing about community is, ironically, the scariest aspect as well. I’m talking about, of course, extreme togetherness. In a community, in order to share life’s trials, we tend to get up in each other’s business. Such intimacy requires an enormous amount of mutual understanding and respect, not to mention a hearty dose of patience. It also requires a high level of trust in the Father.
17 As iron sharpens iron,
so one person sharpens another. Proverbs 27 :17
Careful where you point that thing! People can destroy one another or they can make each other stronger, depending on their willingness to put the needs of others before their own. When we get close to each other, we begin to see each other’s nakedness. Will we cover or will we expose? I don’t mean to enable someone’s destructive behavior, but we’re all human. We all have different points of view, like that old saying about opinions and how everybody’s got one. Trusting God to maintain order and see things through that arise among us brings about confidence. This is the kind of confidence which fosters hope and hope is a very good thing.
3 Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; 4 perseverance, character; and character, hope. 5 And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us. Romans 5: 3-5
What kills hope? Pride, haughtiness, a need to control, these are all characteristics of a supremely insecure individual. Insecurity is a product of fear and fear has no place among the humble.
Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Ephesians 4: 2
There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love. 1 John 4: 18
When I hear a brother or sister lay some kind of heavy on me about what they think the Pastor is doing wrong, or they complain about the worship leader or the order of service, I don’t know whether to weep openly or slap somebody. I realize that both of these reactions could be classified as neither patient nor loving, I suppose that is my downfall. My real response to such a one is to ask them if they feel that they are in the right body of believers. If you have a serious beef with those upon whom God has placed certain responsibilities, (far more intense burdens than most of us realize), then perhaps you should take it up with Abba in prayer, not me standing in the parking lot after service. In the end, we all have to answer to God and it is my understanding from scripture, that those in authority have to answer twice. So, what goes on outside of His perfect will concerning such trivialities is not really my problem, is it? At this point in my walk, I’m pretty secure in what I believe, but what about the new believer who is confronted with such nonsense?
1 Jesus said to his disciples: “Things that cause people to stumble are bound to come, but woe to anyone through whom they come. 2 It would be better for them to be thrown into the sea with a millstone tied around their neck than to cause one of these little ones to stumble. 3So watch yourselves. Luke 17: 1-3
I know that my commentary has been a little harsh, today. There are some things that I am particularly sensitive about and this is, perhaps, the biggest. The position of ‘Accuser of the Brethren’ is amply filled and he doesn’t need any help.