Monday, October 05, 2009

needing each other

Christianity is never a "one man band." It is true, instead, that we need each other. This is in part what church is all about. That we are there for each other, through good times and bad. Advocates rather than adversaries.

I saw this in action yesterday as a brother reached out to me and I could be honest with him, and we could again try to set a time to get together soon. And through my wife's prayers, I had a sense of the Holy Spirit with us, and helping us yesterday, when I was at the nursing home with my guitar, singing hymns with them, sharing a message from God's word, and visiting afterwards.

We do indeed need each other. God has made it so that we're both dependent on God, and interdependent on each other. Of course this works two ways. We are there for each other, both to give and to receive.

Do you see this as important for us who are following Jesus? How can this be healthy and good? And what might make it unhealthy? Are there times when we must carry our own load? Is it important that we come across as always having it all together? Or do we do better in following Jesus to be open as to our brokenness and troubles?

11 comments:

nAncY said...

it is good to be honest with people. i do not know if we ever totally carry our own load. everything we do is in some way connected to others. and i suppose that anything has a possibility of being unhealthy.

i think that we all have a problem with sharing our troubles. no one wants to be seen that way. we all have them, but, would rather live a life that is free of them.

it seems in this book i am reading by gerald may, that he thinks that we should embrace such fear of our wilderness. maybe our troubles can be our wilderness.

Ted M. Gossard said...

nAncY,
Sounds like an interesting book. I think there's much wisdom there in embracing our trials, rather than trying to escape them. Though I'm not really sure what he means by that. Maybe he means seeking to face them and walk through them with the Lord, rather than escape them.

In Galatians it says that we're to both carry each other's burdens, and we're to carry our own load. So in the complexity of life there is truth to both sayings. Even when others are praying for us, we do have to carry our share of the burden. So that we shouldn't expect a burden free life.

nAncY said...

i like that you quoted a verse here as an example of the balance of both having help, carrying our own, and helping others to carry.

i am not sure what jerry may means either since i am just in the first chapter. i believe as you do as to going through everything with the Lord. might as well lean into HIm or into what he is speaking throuh. but, i am not sure that jerry thought it was the Lord our God reaching out to him through nature and wild places. i guess i will see as i read.

anyway, the balance of helping ourselves, and helping others, and doing something that we think is for God...it is hard to say the reasons for all that we do sometimes. since we can not always know if it is one or all.

i think that we all do most things to diminish our fear, instead of doing it out of Love.

most of us do not even know what Love is, we are still learning that. if God is Love, what does that mean to us? sometimes i feel a feeling kind of like, but not exactly like, being in Love, when i think of God, as in the Father, the Son or the Holy Spirit...or any of the three in one. it is like a little bit of goodness in my heart and sometimes causes me to grin.

Ted M. Gossard said...

nAncY,
You're a good observer of life and of yourself.

I suppose I do some things some times out of fear, though not sure what value that has; depends on what kind of fear. But I think it's simply natural for the child of God to do lots of things out of love. A kind of family love that comes from the Father, in Jesus and by the Spirit.

Just my thought on that.

nAncY said...

i think that what we do out of the Love of God is truly a good Love, even though i do not fully understand it. i think it is very much like the Love one has for a child in the way that we understand love. when i speak of romantic love feelings, i think of innocent romantic feelings like the lightness of heart,and the kind of giddyness that makes one grin. so i guess that romantic is not the best of words, but, it is like that in a way, as we are very much lovd by our Lord and we yearn for that ideal relationship with our Lord. i just do not mean it in a human way, so i don't know of a better word. but, i do what to have that closness that i only have now in part.

Every Square Inch said...

Christian life is to be lived in community, not in isolation and individualism...which can be so much of the American church experience

nAncY said...

i wonder if the community of believers in the beginning of the gatherings in different city's were at all like communes where people live and share many parts of their life together.

Ted M. Gossard said...

ESI,
Amen!

Individualism embedded in our culture is a great hinderance to true Christianity. And isolation goes hand and hand with it.

Ted M. Gossard said...

nAncY, Though it is a love from God and of the Spirit, it is quite human. We're to love God with our whole being, and we are human.

As to community I do think the early church in Jerusalem was a powerful witness of what the Spirit is doing and wants to do in the Body of Christ, the Church, in this world.

nAncY said...

sometimes i think that people have gotten into a place where they are overwhelmed by the inputs and bombardments of the world and do not recognize how individualized or cut off they have become into their own interest unless they are in a place to need help from others and can not acquire what they need with whatever they might already have.

we are all in such a place to some degree. we can look at the horizon when we drive, but mainly we must keep our eyes on the road. unless we let Jesus do the driving.

it is a hard to learn the lesson of giving up everything to follow Jesus.

it is also hard to understand how to love God with my whole being. to walk with God with my whole being.

if i think about understanding too much, i might just have my mind in the wrong place.

proverbs 3:5-6

Ted M. Gossard said...

nAncY,
You raise some interesting points. We are to use our minds, but they are limited. The bottom line as you point out is that we're not to lean on our own understanding, but trust in God and in his word.

And indeed we often do not change toward the way of God in Jesus except through perceived need. But God's grace is at work to help us change, and to be there for others. We certainly won't arrive in this life.