Thursday, May 14, 2009


The “American way” is to be independent and self-sufficient. I know. I lived it for most of my life. As a result of many experiences, I concluded early in life that I couldn’t depend upon nor trust others. So ... I set out to prove to myself and the world that I could handle life on my own.

I climbed the career ladder, ran my household and raised my son independently. I was a perpetual student and obsessive workaholic. I never asked for help and was too busy for relationships. I accomplished my goals and the world praised me for it.

I didn’t realize that this journey would lead me not only toward independence, but self-centeredness and self-absorption, as well. It always does. It is part of our sinful nature and never what God intended for His people. It was Satan who separated himself from God and convinced Adam and Eve to do the same. As a result, all of us lean toward this independent, isolated way of life.

Although I acknowledge that I don’t qualify for the role, I thought I was protecting myself from additional hurt. In reality, I was setting myself up for separation from God. I didn’t realize that when I vowed to never trust anyone again, I was subconsciously including the only One I could trust. The more self-sufficient I became, the less need I had for others, including Jesus. Independence always leads to putting Jesus and His Kingdom “on the back burner”.

The Holy Spirit has brought me to a deeper understanding of the Father’s will to build an eternal community and that

our life together as His followers is to be the expression of the fullness of Jesus. “….The assembly is, in fact, His body, and every individual contributes to bringing His body to a state of completeness.” [Eph. 1:23, The Source.]

There is no individualism in this!

Jesus never called His followers to be isolated, self-governing “All-American Stars”. Instead, He commanded us to lay our lives down for one another in love and to live in unity so that the world would know that we are His and that His Father sent Him [John 13:34-35, 15:12-13, 17:21].

Finally, I recognize that I can’t do it alone and that God never intended for me to. I am realizing how very incomplete I am without my brothers and sisters in Jesus. When we gather together, not just once a week, but as members of a community who depend upon, encourage and help one another daily, the love and life of Jesus is expressed.

Without unity:
everyone’s faith is weak,
• we all lack genuine knowledge of Jesus and
• the whole body remains immature [Ephesians 4:13].

Without unity, there is no life and the world is repulsed!

When Jesus observes His People in Ringgold County, what does He see? Are we living as a unified community? Is our love for each other so strong that we lay our lives down for one another? Is there genuine life amongst us or death as a result of independency and self-sufficiency? Do you suppose that the way in which we relate to one another convinces the world that we are His and that the Father truly did send His Son?


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