It was just last night. Our Life Group (a small group of people that meet for Bible study and to enjoy a smaller community) met and we enjoyed a stimulating time looking through some passages of the Bible and talked and shared about the ups and downs of our lives. This group is an interesting, diverse group of some retirees, some young adults, some married, some single, and a bit of ethnic diversity thrown in. You would think that it would be difficult to find a sense of connectedness and friendship in such a diverse group, yet these people have chosen to love each other, and empowered by love there is community. Well last night one of the group expressed this love in a unique way with some very simple, yet love-empowered, words.
These love-empowered words happened like this: People were sharing their lives with some emotional depth. One of our group was prepared to share, but they were hesitant because they felt, in light of the depth of what had already been shared, their concern may not matter much. It was met with the comment, “If it concerns you, it matters.” What a validating and empowering comment! That person mattered, so what they shared, regardless of how trivial they felt it was, was important. Love empowers like that.
The Bible calls and challenges to love in this empowering way.
Romans 12:10 Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor.
To honor is to esteem, to show preference, to care about their needs as well as our own. Honor is respect and acknowledging the value of another. Honor is being interested and learning people’s story.
Romans 12:16-18 16 Live in harmony with one another. Do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly. Never be conceited. 17 Repay no one evil for evil, but give thought to do what is honorable in the sight of all. 18 If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all.
Living peaceably is not easy, however there is the beauty of community when we do.
Psalm 133:1 Behold, how good and pleasant it is when brothers dwell in unity!1
Community is a connection that transcends ethnicity, gender, age, and life stage. It is a choice to engage in relationship and love.
1 Peter 3:8-9 8 Finally, all of you, have unity of mind, sympathy, brotherly love, a tender heart, and a humble mind. 9 Do not repay evil for evil or reviling for reviling, but on the contrary, bless, for to this you were called, that you may obtain a blessing.
Love empowers. Why not use that power to bless others? Yes, you will be blessed as well. We as people have such an opportunity build up each other, encourage each other, and inspire each other. Why not today? Why not now?
Church can be a great place to find a group of people to connect with. If you do not already have a church you regularly attend, please feel invited to our church and even check out visiting a Life Group. Our website has information about our various campuses and online sermons: www.cypresschurch.net .
Seeking to engage empowering love along with you,