Writing is an interesting journey. God teaches me so much through it, not just about writing, but about life.
When I was preparing Faceless for publication, God reinforced how much we need other people as we journey through life. My editorial team read the draft version and offered valuable insights, as they always do… but in this instance, they saved me from a mistake that could have hurt some of my readers by bringing up bad memories from our nation’s not too distant past.
I had written a scene that unintentionally mirrored a domestic terrorist event just a little too closely. Had my friends not pointed out the similarities and raised a red flag, that scene would have remained intact – and could have had very negative and unintended consequences. The replacement scene is so much stronger anyway that I don’t even mourn the loss of the old scene, but I needed that voice of correction and the push to do better.
God reminded me that life is very much like that. We were never intended to walk this path alone. Now, I have a bend toward being the “lone wolf”, so I very well understand the pull toward going it solo. But that’s not how God intended us to be!
Proverbs 27:17 tells us “As iron sharpens iron, so a friend sharpens a friend.” God designed us all differently, with different strengths, weaknesses, and experiences that – when put together, make each of us better.
I’m reminded that this is especially true in our spiritual walk. If you look at the early church in Acts, you’ll see just how important community was… and still is. The church was stronger together at that time, and it’s stronger together today.
Hebrews 10:23-25 shows the value of spiritual community: “Let us hold tightly without wavering to the hope we affirm, for God can be trusted to keep his promise. Let us think of ways to motivate one another to acts of love and good works. And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of his return is drawing near.”
Did you notice how many times the word “us” appears? Clearly, the writer of Hebrews saw the value in walking through life together.
As we are all beginning to return to life activities after all the shutdowns, I’m sure many people are questioning if they really need to be part of a church. Many of us streamed services online during the pandemic and enjoyed the comfort of hearing God’s word in the comfort of our lounge clothes and living rooms. But just watching church on TV was never how God designed the church to be. It was a blessing during the pandemic, but shouldn’t be considered normal.
God designed the church to be an interactive group of people who live life together. In fact, it’s compared to a body multiple times throughout scripture. YOU are a vital part of the church, whether you realize it or not. You need other believers… and they need you! If you’re questioning your need to be there and belong, I’d encourage you to take a look at the church in Acts. Read Paul’s letters to the churches. You are a vital part of the body of Jesus (aka the church) and the church doesn’t need an amputation!