And they had everything in common Acts 2:44
A distinction of those who follow Jesus is that they welcome community. You can be an introvert or extrovert, come from a big family, or be an only child but community is non-optional for the believer. We are born into the church when we accept Jesus and become a child of God. We have sisters and brothers and our Father expects us to love one another.
Our sin nature pushes us to be selfish and protect what is “mine.” Our inclusion into the body of Christ teaches us to focus on what is “ours.” It doesn’t come natural. It isn’t but it is godly. Even the world takes notice. It was said of the early church, “see how they love one another.”
I think there is a lie we are told by the enemy we have to overcome and it is this, “if I am fully known I won’t be fully loved.” Therefore we play defense and isolate from community. It is hard to share with others if we don’t trust. The truth is that in God we are fully known and fully loved. His love is unconditional. And when we love like He loves–we love unconditionally.
Sometimes it is easier to give this kind of love to others than it is to receive it ourselves. Inclusion in the community of Christ requires that we both give and receive unconditional love. Doing so allows us to share life and our stuff with others. We learn to trust and that enables us to live in community.
It seems that in the western world we’ve valued individuality and personal space higher than the community where people share life. You are missing out if you don’t move to the values of Jesus. The church is intended to be different. Jesus said it this way, “this is how you know if you are my disciple by your love for one another.” I’m suggesting that what we often treat as optional he made a requirement. Perhaps it is precisely what we need to break us out of selfishness and isolation. Maybe we wouldn’t gravitate toward it if He didn’t make a requirement–no wonder He did.
Let’s give ourselves to community and discover the better way.