We were made to connect and thrive in relationships, as it’s a part of who we are and what we become. This is a great opportunity and the great challenge of our life.
In truth, this is what we are navigating daily as we evaluate if we should open up to this person, trust that person, and let others into our world. This touches all genres of our life and church is no different. In fact, it seems to be magnified in communities of faith. Maybe there is legitimate reasons for this as religion and church culture by itself can be exclusive and judgmental. This creates crowds not community. It creates performance instead of connection. It breeds competition instead of completing each other.
No doubt this is the plan of our enemy yet it’s easy to feed into this plot and make it easy as we shut down and withdraw.
Our purpose is to be His Light as a Church beaming with joy, life and hope. This is our chance to make a difference in our lives, to leave an impact that goes generationally. He is the greatest cause we can give ourselves to! So we must fight to look up and look out!
In the midst of our temptation to be isolated, there is antidote that is available for all of us. It is possible to overcome what others have done to us and what we have done to others. It possible to be a part of a healthy church that loves, accepts and grows together as the process of life changes us. It is possible to be a part of a movement that sees others come to Christ and sees communities taken with the love of God! This is His church! This is His heart!
“Let your conversation be gracious and attractive so that you will have the right response for everyone.”Colossians 4:6
For this verse to be fulfilled, we have to engage with people daily, which requires us sifting through our emotions and experiences with others. While this is a task in itself, His antidote will empower us to look up and look out!
First, we look up! No matter what is going on with ourselves or others, if we look up we will receive peace and perspective. He will always guide us to His love and grace for healing and community. This is so simple yet difficult as our first response to look at others, because we know when we look up, He will change us first. Yet, when we look up we will protect ourselves from the isolation. We will stay clean and fresh on the inside so that we fulfill what God has for us!
Second, we look out! Jesus changes our view of others. We see them through love, grace and mercy. We gain understanding and insight on how to approach them or how far to engage them. Our attitude goes from inward to outward as we stop making everything about us and see them at a deeper level! People, in general, resist this but it’s God! This is His method for us to be all we can be. Will you look out with His eyes today?
The joy of life is connected to others and the pain of life is connected to others! What will we do about it?
Reading this, there is no doubt you are dealing with a relationship issue at some level; what will you do? Will you Look Up and Look Out? This is the antidote we need!
Embrace community as His plan is revealed in our life! Look up and look out this week as the best is yet to come!