Be a Team Player

NOTE: I’m excited about this month’s topic: Community. For until I opened my heart to embrace community, I missed out on much growth and adventure. And not only to demonstrate community but to give you an opportunity to hear from others, I’m thrilled about featuring a few guest posts for this month. And if you have something to share on this topic, please share in comments or shoot me an email with your story about community. Thank you.

Photo Credit: Mikesphoto (CC)

I like the NBA team Golden State Warriors because they’re fun to watch. They excel at playing as a team. They’re not stuck in playing isolation, superstar basketball where one star outshines the rest, but they pass the ball to each other a lot. Actually, more than the rest of the NBA teams.

For the 2016-17 regular season, they led the NBA with the most assists per game. They averaged 30.1 assists per game while the Boston Celtics, in second, averaged 25.5 per game — that’s over 4 more assists per game. (For non-basketball readers, an assist is when a player passes the ball to the shooter who makes the basket.)

The message? Teamwork–we’ll call it community– is vital to success. After all, community is God’s creation. He doesn’t operate in a vacuum but in a three-fold cord where he’s at the helm, Jesus is the intercessor between God and man, and the Holy Spirit is his activator.

So, when people isolate themselves, that’s not the mind of God. Ever!

But, why do some people shy away from community?

Many reasons, but it boils down to not trusting God. 

What?

Yep. Because if you trust God to sustain you through anything, you won’t fear what people will do to you.

Because people will disappoint, hurt, or reject you, guaranteed.

But people will also help, advise, and support you, guaranteed.

So how do you reconcile that tension?

Intimacy with God. 

Through Jesus, all the obstacles preventing us from participating in community were destroyed. 

First, Jesus destroyed all barriers for us to becoming one with God:

  • But all things are from God, Who through Jesus Christ reconciled us to Himself [received us into favor, brought us into harmony with Himself] and gave to us the ministry of reconciliation [that by word and deed we might aim to bring others into harmony with Him]. (2 Corinthians 5:18 AMP)

He also reconciled us with one another:

  • But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was on him; and with his stripes we are healed. (Isaiah 53:5 NKJV)

Thus, the wounds we receive from others, were already borne upon Jesus when he was whipped 39 times before going to the cross. Each lash represented him taking our wounds as us.

So no matter what people do to us, the pain doesn’t have the power to destroy us. Ever.

Betrayed by someone you loved?

Jesus was… and that’s why he washed his disciples feet as a symbol of washing the wounds of betrayal from our feet. The pain inflicted by that betrayal was removed from us. It doesn’t mean you won’t feel the wound, but God has provided healing through Jesus. It can’t destroy you!

Then the blood. He spilled his blood for us, freeing us from the prison of sin and death. Once we believe what Jesus did as us, then we receive a new nature. A nature that can receive God’s love and extend love to others. 

When Jesus reconciled mankind to God, a wedding occurred. A marriage with Christ to his bride, the Body.

For his body has been formed in his image and is closely joined together and constantly connected as one. And every member has been given divine gifts to contribute to the growth of all; and as these gifts operate effectively throughout the whole body, we are build up and made perfect in love. (Ephesians 4:16 TPT)

So, if you’re not participating in community, you’re avoiding a significant part of who you are. Because you’re united to the Body as one. So even if you avoid participation, you aren’t separated from the Body, instead your avoidance prevents you from knowing all of yourself and growing into maturity. And you’re hurting the Body who needs to know that part of herself.

If you’re struggling with participating in community, preferring to isolate yourself, I suggest you seek prayer and counseling from a pastor or elder, close friend or family member, or a professional Christian counselor. For God has already reconciled you to the Body, so he’s provided the healing necessary when you’re willing to trust him.

What have you gained from your particular community? Please share in Comments below. Thank you.

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About the Author

sarahsoonwriter

Friend of God. Writer. Resting in His grace daily.

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