It’s not important who does the planting, or who does the watering. What’s important is that God makes the seed grow. 1 Corinthians 3:7 NLT
I love people. I love hearing personal stories, helping others, and being with others. However, working with people every day often leaves me wanting to retreat to the privacy of home with little to no human contact for a few hours or days depending on the demands of the day. It is easy for me to not reach out to the community around me, not because I don’t care but because I am emotionally spent. I want to connect with other Christians, develop relationships, yet this is definitely an area of weakness. It is hard for me to stay connected to extended family and old friends, let alone cultivate new relationships.
The Bible warns against isolation. And I suppose it could be said that I am seeking my own desire when I retreat. It is hard to hear wisdom when you’re only helping and never receiving from others, or giving more than you receive.
Proverb 18:1 A man who isolates himself seeks his own desire; He rages against all wise judgment.
I am blessed to be under great teaching and preaching, seeds are definitely being planted in my life in my local community. I also supplement those seeds by getting into the Word for myself and by listening to evangelists and preachers online and on television.
Yet in order to grow in community I need to have those who water too. Plants need water to grow stronger stems and leaves. Water helps plants create energy. I need people who can saturate me with their prayers, loves, support and encouragement. Only then do I have energy to give to others out of the overflow of my life. Only with the others am I stronger than I will ever be alone. Scriptures remind us of this.
Ecclesiastes 4:12 Though one may be overpowered by another, two can withstand him. And a threefold cord is not quickly broken.
Our community should include people who plant and water into our lives, but we also need people that we plant and water into. We need others in our lives to help us discover our gifting and talents. Gifts and talents are never developed in isolation because God gave them to us for he edification of the body. We are called to use our gifts to share Him with others. Our talents are given to give Him glory when seen and experienced by others. We need believers in our life that we are helping grow into what God created them to be.
We also need people who we are building relationships with that are not believers. People who do not have influence over us, but are in relationship with us. Too many people build relationships with non-believers and become unequally yoked. They give nonbelievers the same influence in their life as they do their Christian brothers and sisters. Not that nonbelievers do not have some wisdom and knowledge to share, but it is easy to be led towards something good and not something Godly when council does not remain balanced. The nonbelievers are people who we can set an example for, not people for us to preach at. These relationships not only challenge our faith and beliefs but allow us to be a light before men. God told us to go out into the world and share the Gospel.
Community is an important thing to grow in our life. It not only helps us grow stronger as we receive strength from others. Community helps us to grow our talents and help build up other believers. Growing community helps build the kingdom as our community grows stronger.
This blog is part of a #Write31Days series on growth. 31 Days is an online writing challenge, where bloggers pick one topic and write a post on that topic every day.