13 Jun Why You Can’t Do Life Alone
It sounds like a good idea getting things done on your own.
In fact, it’s usually much easier than the other option. People tend to bring a certain amount of complexity, chaos, and clutter with them. On top of that, accomplishing something without help is satisfying, even empowering–that’s why it can be so difficult to come to terms with the necessity of community.
Following Jesus, although a personal commitment, has never been an individual endeavor. Jesus called twelve disciples, not one; and when he sent them out to proclaim his arrival, they went in pairs. As Paul traveled the Roman Empire to proclaim the Gospel, he enlisted the help of friends like Barnabas and Silas. Within the context of rich relationships, these believers became more like Jesus, and worked together—bearing witness to that which God had done in their lives.
So how do we get past the preconception that we can get through life better on our own?
Here a few reasons why you can’t do life alone:
1. You’ve Had Help
To come to terms with this, we ought to remind ourselves that this journey didn’t even begin by our own efforts. “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works, so that no one can boast.” (Ephesians 2:8-9) From the very start, God established the way; and though we may have decided to confess him as Lord, we must remember that we’re only saved because of our union with him, which he initiated.
2. You Need Community
Our union with him also reveals that we were created to thrive in friendship, compassion, and love. When we are given new life in Jesus, we become part of his Body (that is, the Church). In Christ we are part of a greater whole, and it’s not merely difficult to thrive apart from that whole, but impossible (as a hand can no longer serve its intended purpose once severed from the arm).
3. The Community Needs You
Despite what you’ve heard, faith isn’t a private, personal thing. In the very least, it affects every other member of the Church, who now relies on your contribution to its vitality–like the torso counting on legs to support its weight. For that reason Jesus prayed, “that all [believers] may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you.” (John 17:21)
Your role in the Body of Christ is more crucial than you probably realize – perhaps that’s because we tend to focus on what the Church has to offer, or maybe it’s a result of unawareness regarding what we have to offer. Either way, we must accept the responsibility we’ve been given.
So contribute to your community of faith! Receive graciously from the believers around you. Allow others to help you carry your burdens, and help them carry theirs.
What are some practical ways to do this?
- Join a community group! People are gathering throughout the week in genuine friendship, exploring the truth of the Gospel and encouraging one another in the work of disciple-making. Why not join them?
- Volunteer to serve on a ministry team. What better way to connect with others than by working alongside them? A lot of common ground can be found over a shared passion (whether it be teaching children, serving meals, pointing a camera, or praying for new believers).
- Shamelessly introduce yourself to newcomers within the church. Make them feel at home! Such inclusivity benefits the whole Body by prioritizing integration and connectedness at the individual level.
In a community of faith, we develop dynamic relationships with people who are desperate to know and follow Jesus, and we’re all responsible for including others (and ourselves) in that enriching experience. So reach out, get chatting, offer a helping hand – you won’t regret it.