*Editor’s Note – Due to an error in post-production, Carley’s episode is publishing a week late. We're sharing anyway because so much of what Carley talks about can be applied throughout the holiday season and honestly, the entire year. Enjoy!
We are back with a Thanksgiving week edition of The Reframed Podcast. I thought it would be fun to take this week and focus our attention on the gift of relationships and simple ways scripture encourages us to cultivate community. As messy and challenging as they may be, our relationships with one another are vital to our healing, growth and faith.
As we have talked about in the past several episodes, there is much work to be done in learning the skills to steward are relationships well, yet as we come into the holiday season, I want to encourage our hearts towards gratitude and reframe our perspectives on the purpose and process of cultivating authentic community with those around us.
When many come together to celebrate, we inevitably will face either memories of the past pain, or present dysfunction. What can happen in these times of holiday hurriedness is we can minimize or magnify the messiness of our relational connections. We can feel disconnected, lonely, left out, or limited by the challenges of finding a community that feels like home.
Here is where reality remains: in both the joy and pain, grief and grace, struggle and sweetness of human connection.
Four Reminders for Cultivating Community
Something that we see set forth in scripture is the high priority on community. There are countless passages where we read of the focus and formation of community in what many call the “one another." It occurs 100 times in the New Testament. Approximately 59 of those occurrences are specific commands teaching us how (and how not) to relate to one another.
1. Pray for one another (James 5: 13-16)
How can we be praying with one another this holiday season?
2. Love one another genuinely (Romans 12:9-10)
What does it look like to love one another and outdo each other in showing honor?
3. Forgive one another (Colossians 3:12-13)
Who do we need to forgive or ask for forgiveness from in our community?
4. Encourage one another (Hebrews 10:23-25)
What ways can you use your words, work, or gifts to encourage others in your community this holiday season?
Let us press into what it means to be together this week and in the weeks to come, and seek to outdo one another in showing honor, fight for forgiveness, and bring encouragement into our times of celebration.
A Prayer for Cultivating Community:
Thank you for giving me such a vibrant community of friends to do life with. I praise you for the people you have blessed me with, the ones who have come alongside me to love, encourage, support, and uplift me through all the twists and turns of life. I'm so grateful that I do not have to go through life alone, but that you have shown me examples of your love through my dear friends. I pray that you would be present in my friendships, that you would be drawing us together into deeper community with one another toward greater unity with you. I pray that you would help heal any places of brokenness or discord in my friendships, and that you would restore any friendships that have fallen apart. Like your Word says in Colossians 3:12-13, may I clothe myself in compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. May I be patient with my friends, and may I forgive freely like you have forgiven me. May I shine your light in my friendships, giving glory to you through all that I do, say, and think. Thank you for my friends, Jesus. Thank you for the ways they build me up and remind me of your goodness and faithfulness. (From: Crosswalk - a href="https://bit.ly/3D9sAFA"...