While community is displayed clearly as God’s design in the Scriptures, there is no doubt that life together with others is messy. It’s the work of God to weave us together in unity. His vision and goal is that we would reflect Him. Ephesians 4:3-4 says, “Make every effort to keep yourselves united in the Spirit, binding yourselves together with peace. For there is one body and one Spirit, just as you have been called to one glorious hope for the future (NLT).” Yet, that unity is hard fought for. Proverbs 27:17 says, “As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another.” The writer of Proverbs points out that when God’s people are growing and learning, sparks will fly.
We also see this beautiful picture of community in Paul’s words in 1 Corinthians 3:7-9: “So neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything, but only God, who makes things grow. The man who plants and the man who waters have one purpose, and each will be rewarded according to his own labor. For we are God’s fellow workers; you are God’s field, God’s building.” It’s so clear here that a life of following Jesus is “Y’all” even though our culture pushes us to focus on “me”.
Have you ever been tempted to run away from the people closest to you because of conflict?
What might God have planned for us as we experience the sharpening diversity of the people He has put around us?