"In order to have friends, one must show oneself friendly..." I know that's in the Bible somewhere...but to be honest, I'm not sure where it is at this moment?
I've lived my whole life trying to live by that principle. It seems simple enough... the unstated expectation is that being friendly should bring about long-lasting, life-giving friendship but...not so much! Honestly, I've found that when I genuinely offer my friendship to others, it is rare to have it reciprocated in kind. Especially within the Christian world, we're good at the initial expression... Maybe. But when it all boils down, it is awkward or uncomfortable to truly connect...we'd rather have 998 Facebook friends and tell 2345 followers on Twitter what we had for breakfast. I recently took a sabbatical from Facebook and it took most of my friends almost a month to notice! Community has become a cultural buzzword... One that I doubt this generation truly understands.
Loneliness is one of the most prevalent problems of our day...even though we are the most socially-networked people in history. What is community? What is the difference between a clique and community?
I think community requires much more from Us than what most people are willing to offer. It requires being present to people... Even when we things on our agenda...or when we feel uncomfortable...it is praying for & reaching out to someone outside of the social scene. Community is a commitment to accountability ... A willingness to receive criticism & correction, as well as to offer it when necessary. Community is inconvenient. Most of us are only cool with community when we choose it...thus can be seen in how we choose out churches, "it just doesn't 't have what I'm looking for...I wasn't getting fed..." it 's still about me...not about you...or God, for that matter...
But what happens when God calls an individual into a community? What happens when the "Golden Rule" of community doesn't work?What if people reject one's friendliness or at least do not reciprocate it? How does someone continue to be in community? Community is awkward. I wish I knees how to get people to take interest beyond the surface?
Whatever happened to...be a father to the fatherless & husband to the widow? just sayin'.