Thomasville Times Enterprise

January 11, 2014

Community important in spiritual lives

Aaron Stolarik

— I love living in a small town. I visit my dad in Atlanta and, as much as I enjoy my time with him, I really don’t enjoy the traffic. Having to plan your trip around rush hour seems to be a bit much to me. A traffic jam in Thomasville is when a train is coming through town. More than the traffic, you seem to get lost in the crowd in big cities. Some people enjoy that, but I love the sense of community we have in Thomasville. Community is important in our daily lives, and more important in our spiritual lives.

Hebrews 10:24-25 states, “And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another — all the more as you see the Day approaching.”

How can we do this if we don’t gather together? I have heard many people say that a person can worship at home. It is true that you can read the Bible and pray at home, but there is something more when you can turn to a community of believers, in a local church, that you can’t get sitting at your house.

A community of believers can be a powerful thing. 1 Peter 3:8 states, “Finally, all of you, be like-minded, be sympathetic, love one another, be compassionate and humble.”

Like-minded as in our love and devotion to Christ. Sympathetic in knowing that we all fall short. Loving each other in spite of all of our fallen nature. Compassionate toward our brothers and sisters in their daily struggles. Humble in knowing that we are completely helpless, in our own strength, without Christ.

When you are a part of a congregation, you feel connected to something bigger than yourself. You are a part of the body of Christ; His bride for which one day He will return.

I realize that some of you reading this may have been hurt by someone in a church in the past. Perhaps, they failed to live out what Peter described in the verse above. You may have been hurt and you don’t want to go through that again. If that is the case, please remember what the psalmist says in Psalm 146: “Do not put your trust in princes, in human beings, who cannot save.”

The perfect church doesn’t exist because it is made of imperfect people. Our goal isn’t to serve man but to serve God. If you have put your faith in Christ and want to serve Him, become a part of a church. Ask God to lead you and to use you. If you have never been to church, I hope you will. I pray God will lead you to your own church and, more importantly, to Himself.