Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Going It Alone

Should we take the attitude of “just Jesus and me”? Are there not so many problems with the church that I am better off just going it alone? Or even if I am part of a church, do I really need to be that involved? If I just show up once in a while on a regular basis, won’t that do? Now we need to be honest; the current Christian church is not perfect. Nothing on the planet will ever be perfect until Jesus Christ comes back to rule and to reign. But the church is Christ’s body; it is what He uses to accomplish His purpose in the world (1 Corinthians 12:12-27; Romans 12:3-8; Colossians 1:18). Now we, as part of that body, are to be nourished and built up by one another (Ephesians 4:11-16; Colossians 2:19; Hebrews 10:24,25). But even if we ourselves did not need to be built up by others (which is a dubious conceit), we are obligated to build up others (1 Peter 4:10,11; 1 Thessalonians 5:11; Jude 20). C. S. Lewis (in another connection), says that if you complain that someone does not do more, the last thing you want to do is cut off some of his fingers. If you complain that Christ’s church does not do enough, you should not deprive it of your contribution. The fact is, if an individual were in a place where they did not need the help of others (and none of us are), they would have a greater obligation to assist others who were still struggling.   

One of the problems we face is we live in a culture where we are taught to value our independence. But we are not really independent. We are dependent on God for life (Acts 17:24-28; 14:15-17; Psalms 8:3-8). And we need Him even more for His salvation (Romans 5:6-8; 1 Peter 1:18,19; 1 Corinthians 6:20). Which should result in our trusting Him with every area of our lives (Psalms 127:1,2; Proverbs 3:5,6; Matthew 6:33). But sometimes we can deal with trusting God if we can just get away from having to trust other people. But God tells us to reach out, to connect with others, and to serve others. Now it must be admitted from the outset that this is dangerous business. We are all imperfect people. People will fail you. You will fail other people. But it is only as we trust God who is at work in our lives (Romans 8:28; Ephesians 2:10; 2 Corinthians 3:18) that we can reach out beyond our comfort zone to be built up by others and to build up others. For we are all part of the same body. And none of us are really strong enough to go it alone; we need other people.

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