Friday, October 24, 2008

SSU October 24, 2008

One of the things that we have done this week in our counseling class (the subject is the Addictive Life) is present a paper regarding our experience with addiction, either our own or someone elses. One of the students relayed to us that he had wanted to write something regarding himself, but was not sure what, if any, part of his life might fall into that category. One of his close friends had suggested to him that he should ask those who knew him best what that might be. When he did just that, they were able to share with him what they saw, something that was not evident to him.

Living in authentic community has many benefits. One of them is highlighted by this student's experience. We need community to find out who we really are. We cannot accurately self-assess. We cannot, without bias, receive a complete picture of ourselves from God. We see ourselves through a lens and we hear God's voice concerning us through a filter. We can’t even be who we are outside of community. It is in the context of community that our true self is discovered and released.

I don't mean to imply that we do not have an ability to see things about ourselves. We do have that ability. However, each of us have blind spots, those areas about which we are self-deceived. I don't mean to imply that we cannot hear from God about ourselves. We can and we do, but those same blind-spots become deaf-spots regarding some areas of our lives. Things concerning our attitudes, behaviors and beliefs of which we are totally unaware are very evident to the members of our community. I have no doubts that if we designed a questionaire whose object was to measure people's perspective regarding our life, if we than passed it out to ten of our best friends and insisted on total honesty, there is not a one of us that would not discover some things about ourselves that we were totally ignorant of. That is a remarkable gift the community can give to us if we will receive it.

Such a process is not entered into without risk, but risk is an unavoidable part of the equation. As Luke 19:26 states in The Message: "Risk your life and get more than you ever dreamed of. Play it safe and end up holding the bag." Left holding the bag is not where I want to wind up. The risk is worth the potential reward.

Quote of the Day
"He who loves his dream of community more than the Christian community itself
becomes a destroyer of the latter, even though his personal intentions may
be ever so honest and earnest and sacrificial."
Dietrich Bonhoeffer
Life Together

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