Well, the fall is not going exactly as most of us hoped. It isn’t awful but it isn’t the hoped for future we were all pointing to a few months ago. For many the pressure seems to be lower but it hasn’t gone away.
The deal was, things would be more carefree. We put up with a lot so we could relax again. It isn’t as heavy but it is still there. I guess there are no easy solutions. Just verbalizing it can actually help.
In all of this there is still faith. What is God doing, Where is He leading? Well truthfully that hasn’t changed. He is still transforming lives, still loving and leading His people and still teaching us to love.
Love each other, love our neighbors…even our enemies. Just seems harder now. Of course if it was easy and convenient everyone would do it all the time.
You can probably think of more reasons (not) to love your neighbors than before. I know I can. We usually don’t say them out loud but we live them out. Here’s a few of the top hits:
1) Are You Serious with this Right Now?? Are you asking me to go and love and serve my neighbor right now? Don’t you know where we have been? Back to school, back to work.
Plus the controversy, the economy, the drama, the politics, the foreign countries. I don’t know where people stand on all these issues and I don’t want to get into it anymore.
(On a side note all the loud wrangling and division hasn’t solved much but it does seem we have worn ourselves out fighting….is fighting fatigue a real thing?)
These are survival conditions. Walking through the desert with an almost empty canteen. It is easy to feel the lifeboat mentality. I have to take care of me and my crew.
2) The schedule is tight and my capacity is low. Busy? Yep! How did working at home and staying away from work turn into this? Working harder, longer and without any help on the horizon. The kids are busy again too. They can finally do all the stuff we missed. Got places to go and things to do. Maybe we can get to the neighbors later.
Some of our closest neighbors are the ones in our church family. Church neighbors include preschoolers all the way up to adults trying to figure out their faith. These next two "reasons" fit the church world:
3) You don’t need me. Uhmm, well, when I come to the church, everything seems to be working fine. Stuff happens and everyone seems happy. I get it if no one was helping each other, but someone else will do it. Right?? I love my church family, everyone is great but it doesn’t seem like they need me.
In a way this is 100% true. God will always accomplish His purpose and mission. He doesn’t “need” any of us! Truth is, the reason God wants you to love and serve your church family is more about what it does in you. More on that later in the post.
4) I don’t have Superpowers. Hey people at church do some amazing things. There are some super talented, great people doing things I could never do. Sing or talk from the stage? No thanks. Lead a group of adults? Not me. Work all the computer stuff? Sorry not a techie.
Just like the last one was 100% true, this one is 100% false. You do have some unique abilities and gifts. If you are a follower of Jesus you actually do have some super powers given to you by the Holy Spirit.
If you are not sure what they are, check out our assessment and find out GIFT SURVEY
You have something unique to share, the challenge is simply finding what it is and where to unleash it!
Serving your church family and your neighbors makes a difference. You don’t always know how it will impact others, but we do know it impacts us.
I shared a story recently about a man I invited to church several years ago. God changed His life. I still see him active on social media. He is all about what God is doing in his life, his family and trying to share it with his friends. God completely transformed him.
You can watch that message HERE if you missed it.
Though I haven’t spoken to him in a while, God still uses it to remind me how serving others changed me. I am different because I serve. God has done things in me because I am serving others…things that would not have happened if I had listened to all the reasons not to serve.
Compassion grows when we serve. Selfishness starves when we serve. The feeling of meaning and purpose soar when we serve. Serving even lowers your anxiety and calms your mind. God has so much for you!
He isn’t trying to get something from you but do something for you when He commands us to love and serve our neighbors.
As I said above, in one sense the church doesn’t need you. That is too small a reason to alter your life. But God wants to grow you and serving others does that work. That is worth setting aside the reasons “not” to.
Your experiences drive who you become. When your experiences put you in the role of one who serves (living like a servant). It drives who we become. If you are a follower of Jesus that is right where you need to be.
There was once a dream…there still is. Brining people back to God is the mission and it moves from being a dream to being real when we do the simple work of loving and serving our neighbors.
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