“For where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I among them.” — Matthew 18:20 (ESV)
God didn’t design you to do life on your own. Scripture is filled with exhortations to engage in community with fellow believers. Galatians 6:2 (ESV) says, “Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.” Psalm 133:1-3 (ESV) says, “Behold, how good and pleasant it is when brothers dwell in unity! …For there the Lord has commanded the blessing, life forevermore.” And Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 (ESV) says:
“Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil. For if they fall, one will lift up his fellow. But woe to him who is alone when he falls and has not another to lift him up! Again, if two lie together, they keep warm, but how can one keep warm alone? And though a man might prevail against one who is alone, two will withstand him — a threefold cord is not quickly broken.”
Taking time to invest fully and rightly in community takes both vision and boundaries. Without a sense of God’s heart and leadership into fellowship with believers, we’ll pull back and isolate when problems arise. And without healthy boundaries around community, we can either allow others to take life from us or not make enough space to give rightly of ourselves.
Take a moment to think about the people God has given you. Think about your friends and family. Think about those around you at church you feel close to. What would life be like if you were all alone? What would your hardships have been like if you absolutely had no one to endure them with? God loves to use others as instruments of His healing. He loves to speak life and restoration into His people through the words and actions of those around them.
But to experience healing, life and restoration from others is to have the courage to call upon others and be vulnerable. To be in community is to be willing to be the hands and feet of Jesus yourself. It’s for that reason that God would have us set healthy, life-giving boundaries for community. If we don’t have any margin in our lives to help meet the needs for others, then we’ve overcommitted ourselves out of a chance to be used by God. And if we don’t make time to simply develop friendships and be loved by others, then we miss an opportunity to receive the love and power of God in a real, unique way.
Whether you find yourself overcommitted with community to the level of running on empty, or under-committed to where you feel like you have to do life on your own, there is grace for you today. Today is a new day in which you can make different, life-altering decisions. Today is a day that you can redraw your boundaries and allow God to pour out His Spirit through community.
Take time in prayer to receive God’s heart for your community. Allow Him to fill you with courage to be vulnerable and receive life from others. And ask Him to help you draw healthy boundaries that you might give of yourself freely to see others experience life and restoration through the power of God poured out in you.
— Craig Denison, First 15
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