On Community Living - Living in Community Takes More Than Looking Out for Your Feelings...
Living in Christian community requires each person take intentional (deliberate) care for other people. Serving each other 'works' in putting things right in so many people's life, for love is serving.
However, service when it becomes the end, it has become a monstrous Master, catapulting people to heights of arrogance from which they may never recover due to the blindness of pride.
How susceptible we are to being sucked down into the undertow when someone talks of his/her 'my feelings!'
How is it then that it can be possible to live in community, having 'respect' for your feelings? We need to have a standard to measure “respect for feelings.” What is the answer? And more than that, what motivates me to have respect for your feelings, or you for mine?
There are those people who dare to insist that you need to respect my feelings because: ' I believe [i.e. feel], I did this for glory of God...'
The reality is that if you really wish to do something for the glory of God, your feelings will matter less and Christ's "feelings" will matter more.
So what is the answer to this condundrum? There is no earthly help--we really do need to turn to the truth of the scriptures for our standard-and let them search our heart:
"So if there is any encouragement in Christ, any comfort from love, any participation in the Spirit, any affection and sympathy, complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind.
Do nothing from rivalry or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.
Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus..."
(Philippians 2-1-5 English Standard V)
"If with the tongues of men and of angels I speak, and have not love, I have become brass sounding, or a cymbal tinkling;
and if I have prophecy, and know all the secrets, and all the knowledge, and if I have all the faith, so as to remove mountains, and have not love, I am nothing;
and if I give away to feed others all my goods, and if I give up my body that I may be burned in sacrificial giving, and have not love, I am profited nothing.
Love is long-suffering, it is kind, the love doth not envy, the love doth not vaunt itself, is not puffed up, doth not act unseemly, doth not seek its own things, is not provoked, doth not impute evil,
Rejoiceth not over the unrighteousness, and rejoiceth with the truth-it all things beareth, it believeth all, it hopeth all, it endureth all.
Love will never cease; and whether [there be] prophecies, they shall become useless; whether tongues, they shall cease; whether knowledge, it shall become useless; for in part we know, and in part we prophecy; and when that which is perfect may come, then that which [is] in part shall become useless.
When I was a babe, as a babe I was speaking, as a babe I was thinking, as a babe I was reasoning, and when I have become a man, I have made useless the things of the babe;
for we see now through a mirror obscurely, and then face to face; now I know in part, and then I shall fully know, as also I was known; [See 1 John 3 below] and now there doth remain faith, hope, agape -- these three; and the greatest of these [is] agape."
(1 Corinthians 13 - Young's Literal Translation)
"Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called children of God!
Therefore the world does not know us, because it did not know Him.
Beloved, now we are children of God; and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be
but we know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is.
And everyone who has this hope in Him purifies himself, just as He is pure. "
(I John 3:1-3)