Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Accepting Imperfection

What can we really expect in terms of community? And what should we settle for? Scripture paints a picture of a harmonious body, where all the parts work together to build each other up (Romans 12:3-8; 1 Corinthians 12:12-27; Ephesians 4:11-16). And we are called to a deep unity and sympathy with one another (Philippians 2:1,2; Romans 12:15,16; 15:5-7). But we are sinners, who fall short of that (Romans 7:14; Galatians 5:17; 1 John 1:8-10). And part of real love and unity is bearing with those who are weak (Colossians 3:12-14; Romans 15:1,2; 1 Peter 4:8). What then should we settle for? I believe we should settle for nothing less than the Biblical ideal. But we should be patient with ourselves and others in reaching that ideal. In this way, growth in community is like general spiritual growth. We should see ourselves as people in process, who are on the path but have not reached the final goal (Philippians 3:12-16; Hebrews 12:1,2; 1 Timothy 4:7,8). For we do not want to become complacent and simply settle for the status quo without ever trying to improve the situation. Nor should we become so impatient that we are critical and destroy the very thing we are trying to produce. It is hard to find the way between these dangers, but we need to attempt to navigate the straits. 

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