Thursday, September 19, 2013

Alone and Vulnerable

We are told in Scripture that the devil prowls around like a lion, hunting for someone to devour. While I don't believe a Christian can be ultimately harmed by satan, I do think there is a warning to us when it comes to how we live our lives. We are to be vigilant because the lion has many ways to try and attack us. To me, this speaks of the necessity of being in community with fellow believers.

When lions or other pack animals hunt, they pick out the most vulnerable member of a herd. They look for an animal that is sick, or a young one that may be slower than the rest. They may focus on one that has strayed away from the herd a bit. When the pack makes its charge, the target can be brought down quickly unless it can reach the safety of the herd or unless one of the stronger members is able to defend it.

A follower of Jesus who is trying to go it alone is a vulnerable target for the enemy. If we are by ourselves, we lose the benefit of learning how to love as Jesus loved, the benefit of wise counsel from others, and the growth that comes from the messiness of sharing life together. It is very easy for us to get the idea that we are doing everything right without input from others. Our blind spots are just that. Usually we don't know about them unless someone who loves us points them out. If we isolate ourselves and only hear one point of view or one teacher, we run the risk of embracing teaching that does not match up with Scripture. Many times, we need the give and take of a group in order to discern what God wants us to know and do.  

Jesus gave us the command to love our brothers and sisters as he loved us. We cannot do that if we are separate from them. We are also told to make disciples. That can only be done in a community of folks that are committed to helping each other learn to follow Jesus. It doesn't happen in isolation.  

A community that loves, that challenges, that disciples, is a safe place. Yes, there will be messiness. Yes, there will be times when we hurt one another. But a community that is centered in Jesus and his gospel will provide what we need to follow Christ and be a light in a dark world.

1 comment:

KC Bob said...

"We cannot do that if we are separate from them."

So true Fred.

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