This morning at Community of Faith our Pastor challenged us about choices that will shape our 2018. One of those five really struck a cord in me. It was number three, “A Christian has the power to risk connections.” This particular point jumped out at me first because, hey, it’s my job to connect people. Connecting and networking people to help them become all that God has called and created them to be and to belong to something bigger than they could have imagined (the Church) has been my driving ambition for as long as I can remember. I know that when people connect, growth is promoted on multiple levels.
So today I share something that causes me to be very vulnerable. To be perfectly honest, due to circumstances in my past, connecting at a deeper level has been a risk that I had not taken much in 2017. For me it hasn’t been much of the fear of rejection as much as it’s been the fear of disloyalty and disappointment. As I am sure that has happened to all of us at some point and at some level. I had been betrayed and let down on such deep levels that I built walls that have kept me from risking relationships. Have you even been there?
As Mark shared his message, I saw that my thinking has been very selfish. I have been looking at those close relationships and evaluating them by what I would gain from them. We are probably all guilty of the same thing. Internally I was asking what my return investment would be. Have you ever done that? It’s embarrassing to admit isn’t it? So much so that I almost didn’t post this entry.
So what do we do? Well if 1 John 4:18 is true, “Perfect love cast out all fear“, then we are to love like Jesus loved. Take the risk that He took on us. Love others as we want to be loved (Mark 12:31). Loving others and taking the risk to build relationships is what brings maturity and growth to the body of Christ.
1. Read Ephesians 4:1-16
2. What does verse 1-3 tell us about how we are to love others.
3. According to verses 11-16, why did God make us all so uniquely different?
4. How do our differences actually make us stronger?
5. What’s the right next step for you to risk connecting with others?
In this fist 100 days of the new year, can I challenge you to GET CONNECTED? Maybe for you it’s to jump on to one of our weekend volunteer groups as a greeter, in the welcome center, on the cafe crew, hanging with students or playing in kids world (CLICK HERE). Perhaps it will be in joining a connect group, which by the way are about to launch for a new semester (CLICK HERE)! For me it will be letting down my pride and my fear to risk loving others as Jesus loved me without wondering if I will be let down or even taken for granted. No one ever said this was going to be easy, but then again, the best things in life never are.