I love this clip from Paul Tripp. It talks about the intensity of living in community with one another. I agree with him totally that "we were not hard wired to live this christian experience by ourselves," and think the Bible also makes this point clearly.
Tripp talks about how we are to grow, and talks about the theology of uncomfortable grace.
"I move toward you not because I trust you. I move toward you knowing that we are both broken and this is potentially messy. I move toward you because I trust the cross of the Lord Jesus Christ, and there is hope for us."
Honestly, I suck at all of the above. When I am struggling with sin, I retreat and hope to "come back when I'm done dealing with it." But again and again the Bible talks about confessing to one another in order to bring healing (James 5:16). When I see other people on the road to sin, the last thing I want to do is confront them. What will they think of me, after all? I am not better than them. But again, the Bible clearly says that we are to lovingly go to them and seek restoration (Matthew 18). A key attitude for both situations is humility.
This morning I was reading through Psalms 119 and came across verse 74: "[God], those who fear you shall see me and rejoice, because I have hoped in Your word."
It seems as if David, the writer of this psalm, wants those who fear the Lord (the christian community) to see him and be glad, because he puts his hope in the word of God.
I want that. I want people to be glad to see me, and be happy to approach me, because they know that I won't get defensive or angry if they point out a sinful tendency or hurtful situation- because in the end, my hope comes from the word of God- not from my pride, or their opinion of me, or what I think is best. They will be glad because I wont flip out on them but humbly accept their rebuke. I want people to be glad when they see me because they know I will point them to truth, to the Word, and not just drown them in legalism or selfish motives.
Psalms 119 is just a gold mine. Verse 73 says "Your hands have made and fashioned me; give me understanding that I may learn your commandments."
I want that too: Understanding so that I may learn Your commandments.
Lord, help me to only put my hope in your word. Give me understanding so that I may delight in your word and deny my tendency to be defensive or prideful. Let me be a joy to those around me because I present them with the word and not myself. Help me to measure everything by your glorious gospel and the truth that you have created us, fashioned us, and that through affliction, you are still faithful (vs 75). Lord help me to move toward others simply because of my trust in the work done on the cross and that you have offered us hope. Amen.