If our views and pleasures came before the community, what would our community look like? How could this happen?

Imagine if our view of what we think is good, bad, right, or wrong, is determined by ourselves, we would not have a reference point but would be trending popular beliefs or opinions. Suppose we put our pleasures first before others and constantly feel the need of being pleased at the expense of others, what would our community be?

When we put our views and pleasures first before our community, we would have misunderstandings, mistrust and hurts. There would grievances, injustices, discrimination, abuses, scandals, and the dictatorial attitudes of those in authority.  Many workers, volunteers, and Church members would be deeply wounded by the Church that we love and serve. As a consequence, many of us would either leave the Church ministries or even the Church completely, because of the loss of faith, disillusionment, anger, and resentment.

We love God but because we love ourselves more, we fail to love our  neighbour – our sisters and brothers in Christ
A community cannot exist if everyone wants to do what he or she wants

Top 3 Reasons Why We Only Do What We Want

Before we focus on fostering a loving community, we need to know that a community cannot exist if everyone wants to do what he or she pleases. A community will be destroyed if I put all my own views and pleasures first!

Pride: When we are not conscious that what we do is a service to the community, and becomes entangled with our own need for appreciation, recognition and acceptance. Or, when we have competitive mindsets within the community, it is the sin of pride. We must ask ourselves what is our motive – do we need to prove that we are better than our neighbour or are we truly serving for the love of God?

Self-interest: When we put our self-interest above every thing else to protect our turf, our comfort zones and our conveniences, and are not willing to change or make changes or accept others, we choose ourselves and sacrifice our community.

Gossiping and backbiting: When we are not receptive to differing views or are not able to engage in humble, open and sincere dialogue and when we do not care about our sister or brother in Christ: we  start arguing and believe that we are in the right. And when others do not agree with us, we feel disgruntled and resort to gossiping.

Love of God requires us to love our neighbour first.

No, because love of God requires us to love neighbour first

When I love my sister or brother in Christ first, it also means that I love the other more and become less selfish. Thinking less of “me” and more of “you.” When I love the other person, I put the other person’s needs before my own. Loving and selflessness brings out the best in others. It builds trust in relationships. This love may even empower the other person to change, because we put the person before ourselves

It is more important to discern through a community what the Lord wants.

How do we discern through a community what the Lord wants?

To discern God’s will, as a community we…

1.Grow to know Him intimately through His Word and His Spirit.

2.Act on biblical principles, not human wisdom.

3.Analyse our gifts, motives, and desires in light of God’s sovereign purpose of being glorified among the nations.

4.Listen to and evaluate the counsel of godly believers.

5.Prayerfully evaluate the circumstances that God providentially brings into your life.

6.In dependence on God, you must follow our own sound judgment, conscience, and convictions, and submit to the consequences.

By Julianne Danielle Lim