We tend to pride ourselves on being self-sufficient. As Americans it’s in our DNA. We began out of a desire for freedom. Not just freedom of religion (or freedom from religion) or “give me liberty or give me death”or “no taxation without representation” but out of a desire for the freedom to forge our own way. “We don’t need your help.” “We can do it on our own.” (I can’t speak for the rest of the country, but as a Texan especially, this “pull yourself up by your own bootstraps” mentality is just a part of who we are. Right? Cross that river? No problem. Run that race? Sure thing. Climb that mountain? Ya’ll watch this!
There’s nothing that MacGyver can’t do with a Swiss Army knife and a paperclip, or that Bear Grylls can’t overcome with a piece of paracord and flint. And we like it!
We don’t rely on others very well. Do we?
And yet Christ’s church is designed as such that we are to 1) rely upon God and 2) to rely upon one another. We are to share life with one another. To share our triumphs and our defeats.
But in order for me to walk along side of you when you are hurting or struggling or grieving, or in order for you to walk along side of me when I am in those shoes, one thing is required that we too often don’t have an ample supply: vulnerability.
We do self-sufficient.
But we don’t do vulnerable.
And this is a problem.
When we don’t open up to God or to one another as covenant relationship through Jesus is designed we find ourselves stubborn, needy people. In need of love, support, guidance, rebuke, challenge, but too stubborn to accept. And the results are disastrous.
What is vital is humility. Humility that plunges the spiritual depths.
What is indispensable is Jesus. The example of Jesus and the spirit of Jesus.
To practice discipleship. Following Christ and following Him together.
And to embody an openness that intimacy with God and closeness with one other reveals.
It’s God’s design. It’s what God wants. But is it what we want?
The minister/spy/martyr Dietrich Bonhoeffer writes, “The church only exists when it exists in community.”
The first question to ask is: Do we believe that statement to be true?
If we do, the second question is: What are we doing to foster covenant community?
Glory to God!