In the New Testament we read about the way the early church lived—dependent on one another in a way that’s difficult for American Christians to imagine. Last week I talked about the characteristics of a God-designed community. The first one is interdependence—which brings to mind this list of descriptive “one anothers.”
· “You, my brothers, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the sinful nature; rather, serve one another in love” (Galatians 5:13 NIV).
· “I myself am convinced, my brothers, that you yourselves are full of goodness, complete in knowledge and competent to instruct one another” (Romans 15:14 NIV).
· “Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you” (Ephesians 4:32 NIV).
· “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom…” (Colossians 3:16 NIV).
What a depth of interaction with others! Sometimes these things can be a bit uncomfortable, can’t they? Our culture of isolation tells us to “have it together” and not receive these “one anothers” that God has designed for us.
The real question may not be whether we are willing to operate in obedience to these commands. It may be whether we are willing to receive these ministries from our brothers and sisters! My prayer for us is that we may grow less hard and resistant to God’s help through those he has placed around us.
How does it look like to truly live interdependently? Is something holding us back? Do we realize that we might be unwilling to engage in the way God has designed us?