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  • Two Sides of Community

    1 posts, 1 voices, 519 views, started Nov 18, 2010

    Posted on Thursday, November 18, 2010 by Denise Richardson




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      "Encourage one another daily..."  Hebrews 3:13
      "Provoke one another to good works..."  Hebrews 10:24

      In our busy, often harried 21st century lives, we desperately need encouragement. We are constantly told to work harder, achieve more, study more diligently, drive a newer car, own a bigger home. Life's circumstances and our own failures can quickly drag us into dark holes of discouragement and even despair. The writer of Hebrews says "encourage one another daily...so that none of you may be hardened by sin's deceitfulness."

      But just a bit later that same writer gives us words that seem not so comforting, so soothing, so uplifting:  "let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds." Another translation says to "provoke one another to good works." Spurs have sharp edges and provoking—even from good friends with kind motivation—can easily aggravate.

      Author M. Robert Mulholland writes, "The often disturbing, upsetting intrusions of others enable them to become agents of God's troubling grace in our pilgrimage." Both encouragement and stirring up are necessary for our pilgrimage. Without the first we can sink into despair. Without the latter we easily become satisfied with living within the confines of our comfort zones. True Christian community involves both.






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