God designed us for community, not to live in isolation from one another. But do we experience community in the way God wants us to?
Several years ago, Dr. Sue Edwards spoke on this topic at our women’s retreat and shared with us eight roadblocks to building healthy biblical community. Are any of these roadblocks holding you back from authentic community with others?
- Anger – I’m ticked off. I don’t want to be around people.
- Hurt – I’ve been hurt. I don’t want to be around people and let my guard down because they may hurt me again.
- Exhaustion – I’m worn out. I don’t have the energy to spend with people. I need to rest and be alone.
- “Workaholism” – I like being busy and working hard. I don’t have time for people because my work consumes my life.
- Laziness – I’d rather stay home and watch TV or sleep or get on the computer.
- Fear – I’m afraid if people get to know me, they won’t like me or accept me once they see what I’m really like. It’s just better to keep my guard up and not open up to anyone.
- Selfishness – I’m protective of my time and desires. I need to meet my needs before I look at anyone else’s.
- Comparison, envy, jealousy – She’s prettier than I am. I’m not as bad as she is. I want what she has.
To be honest, I struggle with some of these roadblocks. But I know I need Christian community. So what is the solution to overcoming these community busters?
I think Nancy Leigh DeMoss summed it up well in her devotional book, The Quiet Place. She wrote in her entry for November 2:
“Brokenness is God’s prescription for nearly every condition that ails human hearts and lives, because pride in one form or another is almost always at the root of our most difficult issues – fear, sinful bondages, fragmented relationships, communication barriers, generation gaps, unresolved conflicts, guilt, shame, self-absorption, addictions, hypocrisy, even insecurities, and excessive shyness… You may be hiding behind their high, thick walls, not wanting to relinquish control or admit weakness. But every one of those walls can crumble through genuine brokenness and humility.”
The solution is genuine brokenness and humility.
We have to acknowledge and deal with pride and self-sufficiency in our lives. And as we humble ourselves and allow ourselves to be broken, it opens the door for authentic community to take place. I want authentic community, but I have to be willing to overcome these community roadblocks.
What would you add to the list of roadblocks to building community?