Friday, March 16, 2007

Day 19 – Cultivating a Community

Cultivating a Community

Today’s lesson is also a continuation from previous lessons, and it touched on creating and cultivating a good community. In order to cultivate a community, a great amount of commitment is required; but will only work with the Holy Spirit involved, as He is the only One that can create real fellowship between believers and He does this through our choices and commitment [Ephesians 4 vs. 3]. Cultivating a community takes both God’s power and our effort to produce one [1 Tim. 3 vs. 11 – 15]

We also need honesty in cultivating community. And to do this, we need to be honest with each other and be able to speak up when we feel there are things sabotaging our fellowship with others, and not to allow fear to prevent us from speaking up and speaking the truth [Ephesians. 4 vs. 15; Prov. 24 vs. 26; Gal. 6 vs. 1-2]. This is the reason why many groups remain superficial because they are afraid of conflict and this is how sick environments where gossip thrives ends up being created [Eph. 4 vs. 25]. And in being honest, being frank goes hand in hand. Be it in friendship, marriage or in the church [Prov. 28 vs. 23]. But speaking up and being frank does not give us a license to say whatever we want and we need to be careful not to be rude or use thoughtless words [1 Tim. 5 vs. 1 – 2]. To bear in mind that there is a right time and a right way for everything to be said [Ecc. 8 vs. 6] and it is our responsibility to speak out to our brothers and sisters in Lord [1 Corinth. 5 vs. 3 – 12].

Humility is also another requirement in cultivating a community as self importance, smugness and stubborn pride destroys fellowship [1 Pet. 5 vs. 5]. Being humble is also important because pride actually blocks God’s grace in our lives. And in order to develop humility we need to admit to our weakness, be patient with others and be open to correction, not trying to hug the spot light [Rom. 12 vs. 16; Phil. 2 vs. 3 – 4].

Important nugget - Humility is not thinking less of yourself – it all about thinking of yourself less and thinking more of others. Therefore we need to be a little more courteous, and be considerate to other people’s feelings [Rom. 15 vs. 2]. To bear in mind that difficult people are brought into our lives for a reason and should be seen as an opportunity for growth and test of friendship regardless of who they are or their tendencies. To understand that they are part of us and should be defended well [Rom. 12 vs. 12]. And in order to understand them, we can help them by trying to understand where they are coming from or their views by trying to discover their history to find out what they’ve been through. And instead of thinking how far they still have to go to think about how far they’ve come.

We also need to allow an atmosphere of confidentiality. To always try to create an environment where people can feel safe and open up. I.e. what is said in the group stays in the group. As we know that God hates gossip especially when it has been thinly disguised as a “prayer request” [Prov. 16 vs. 28]. To confront those who are fixed on breaking the fellowship [Titus 3 vs. 10], build genuine fellowship [Heb. 10 vs. 25] and invest time in the Fellowship.


Truth said...

God will help us to assimilate this study, especially the aspect on hummility.God bless you

Jaycee said...

I love the talk about HONESTY in both fellowship & FRIENDSHIPS (which includes MARRIAGE). Honesty in friendships (even when 'brutal' a.k.a 'down-to-earth,' bring the best out of friends! But the most important thing I learnt from that paragraph is that "there is a time for everything, a time to speak & a time to be silent." (Ecclesiastes 3).

Another deep statement: ...difficult people are brought into our lives for a reason and should be seen as an opportunity for growth...

Ha ha...abt 'confidentiality,' I see why u were talking abt that on TERC!!!

Thanks LOaSCM for bring Purpose Driven Life to us...

Cherub (former Bijouxoxo) said...

Building genuine fellowship by being honest and speaking the truth in love. Hmmm key points i got out of this reading.

Believer said...

"Humility is not thinking less of yourself – it all about thinking of yourself less and thinking more of others"
LOASCM.. those words are such a blessing. Thinking of myself and more of others..may God continue to give me the grace.
I love the way the study has started to deal with relationships and I am encouraged by today's post. I was about to give up on some people but now I know that it isn't even about them. They are part of the PROCESS that the Lord is using to refine me into a vessel of honour for the Master's use.
God bless you.