True Community

written by Chris Hartenstein
There is little in my journey that is as elusive as true community. I have friends that enter in and out of my life, like the seasons of the year. When I say friend, I am talking about those who would die for me. The people we know who would lay anything, short of their families, on the line for us. We need these kinds of friendship, but at the same time, true friendship is opposed, and we struggle to believe it even exists. This internal battle often keeps us from offering true friendship to others and fostering a true community around us.

Within the battle for community, there seems to be two kinds of loyalty. Loyalty to the mission or loyalty to a person. We either love the person, but do not always agree with the mission or we love the mission, but we don’t believe in the person. Either way, we live in a tension of loyalty.  

Only one man has them both right, Jesus. He is a man we can follow with a mission that is the best ever. Jesus is the friend with who you can find true community. The perfect friend we were made to be and have in our lives.

However, in the world we live in, this is a rarity. Jesus was killed for not being the man everyone thought he should be and for having a mission not everyone could get behind. Our sin nature causes us to write off or discard what we don’t understand, but we are called to be different.

If we walk away when the battle for community gets rough, We will never find the best community or friends. We all have deficiencies within ourselves and in our missions. They don’t go completely away in this lifetime, however, like Jesus, we are called to fight alongside our true community- no matter the cost.

- How is finding/keeping community hard for you?
- Where do your loyalties often lie? With people or mission?
- What have your priorities (people or mission) cost you?
- What keeps you from fighting for your friends?
- What friends in your life would you fight for like Jesus fought for you? How can you battle better alongside the people in your community?





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