Monday, November 10, 2003

It is much easier to talk about community, than truly pursue it. So much of the time even when we want relationships, to have close friendships and not to be alone, our own selfishness sabotages everything. Selfishness has to be one of the great barriers to community.

I suspect that selfishness comes in many varieties. These subtle opinions, personal likes and dislikes, and desires effectively create so many tensions and disputes that building community becomes a true test of patience and endurance. And I haven't even mentioned selfish expectations. Paradoxically, I believe that we might be able to have selfish opinions about what is best for everyone else. Is it selfish to be opinionated? It seems to be if I have little room for anyone else's thought to be accepted, or patience for it to be expressed.

I am thinking that only in desiring something greater than our selfish ambitions will we discover community. I don't think the answer is to desire community itself. We really don't build community. Community results among those who are bound together by something greater than everything that would naturally drive them apart. I imagine that one might experience strong community in a foxhole. Teams in any sport often have a strong sense of community. Our desire is not for any ministry or mission or goal to be what binds us together, but for the person of Jesus Christ. From Christ we will all learn selflessness and discover we are in community in the process.

I think that I am wanting community sometimes when I ought to simply want Christ.

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