Better Together: Included In A Bigger Story
Introducing the final article in our Better Together series. We’ve covered relationships, friendships, dating, mentoring, and now church families. What a rich set of topics to be journeying through together! We pray you’ve been blessed, encouraged and challenged over the past six weeks. MP Team x
For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the faith God has distributed to each of you. For just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, so in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others. (Romans 12: 3–5)
Me. Myself and I. The one if we are all honest, we perhaps think a little too much about. Perhaps statements like ‘I’ve got this’, ‘I don’t need help’, or ‘I can do this’ are often what you say? ‘I find it’s easier if I just do it’, is perhaps your first response? This mindset can easily creep into our everyday language without us even realising it and before we know it, we have only thought about the impact for Me. Myself and I.
Over the last week, I’ve been reflecting on this far too familiar tune in my life. Recently, I was moving some furniture at work, as I have many times before, but this time I didn’t realise the full weight. In a split second, it was too late, the chair had fallen, and my foot had become the cushion between the stone floor. Don’t worry, after having it checked out (praise the Lord for the NHS!) it wasn’t broken. However, before figuring this out, I sat down and burst into tears, whilst my lovely colleagues brought prayer, ice, tea and cake (I work for a church, there is always cake). I began to process why I was so upset about what had happened as my foot wasn’t hurting that much - only when I moved it.
For the last article in this series ‘Better Together’, we are looking at our inclusion into a bigger story; the body of Christ.
I didn’t have an easy childhood, for many reasons and life experiences, I grew up quickly. Subsequently, in part, I have always been a ‘get on with it’ kind of gal, friends would have described me as the reliable and loyal one. On many occasions, this has served me well and I have been blessed with lots of varied and deep friendships as people are able to trust and rely on me.
I sometimes adopt the mindset of ‘I’ve got this, I’m good’. The day I hurt my ankle was no different in some ways to any other time when I had ‘got this’. Reflecting, as the tears flowed, there were three questions that were so clear to me;
• I don’t have time for a broken foot, how am I going to live my life?
• I’m so independent, who’s going to help me?
• Why did I do this, why didn’t I ask for help?
Whilst sat in A&E, sending out lots of prayer text messages, I had to forgive myself. I couldn’t go back in time whatever the impending result. There were two outcomes; broken foot or not.
After finding out it wasn’t, I was praising every day - as it’s painful but could have been so much worse! I was blessed with my friend bringing me dinner, my housemate getting me anything I needed, and so many texts, phone calls, checks in, flowers and care.
It was in these moments afterwards that I realised how far I had shifted to believe that it was quicker for me to just do and that I was the only one who could do things for me – such a lie! As my foot slowly heals and I continue to pray for healing, I have been reminded that I can accept and ask for help and it doesn’t mean I’m not competent; it’s just easier when the load is shared.
We are called to walk together in unity, with Christ, serving one another.
For a while, I had believed the lie of the enemy that I had it covered on my own. He wants nothing more than to separate us from believing God’s truth and to isolate us from one another.
Sometimes God calls us to be bold and take a step of faith alone but being a follower of Christ means we are included into something bigger than just us, we don’t always have to go at it alone.
In this situation, I should have asked my colleague for help as I’m not invincible. We are made to help each other, build and strengthen the body of Christ, so when the storms of life come, we are ready to stand firm together.
As Paul writes in Romans, later in the passage, we are one body with many functions. We must work together to use individually what God has gifted us with; together. In Christ, we belong to each other and so that bears an impact upon each other. If I’d had simply asked, ‘please will you help me?’, I would have caused less extra work for the long term.
Girls, in the weeks ahead, pray and ask God if there is any part of you that thinks you are better offer working alone? If there is, confess this to him and then replace this thinking with the truth.
We are including into a bigger story of the church and inherit a family when we believe in Jesus. I pray you are reminded this week of those wise words from Mother Teresa: ‘I can do things you cannot, you can do things I cannot: together we can do great things.’
The truth is that in all our relationships we are ALWAYS better together!