So, now that we’ve talked about reasons that we may be hesitant to form relationships with people around us, what can we do instead?
Be empathetic; be open to new ideas and perspectives. Be willing to have your mind changed or broadened. A good passage for me to remember when I am interacting with people who have drastically different viewpoints or belief systems than me is this:
“My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, because human anger does not produce the righteousness that God desires.” James 1:19-20
What keeps us from finding community/forming relationships?
By Bekah Leary
In my last post, I talked about the importance of Christian community, which is something that I think most of us can agree on. But usually, in a transition, we enter a new place where we don’t have a lot of community automatically. And when we are in the midst of a transition, it can be hard to seek out community. Whether we are in the “chaos” stage of transition, still learning our way around, or just emotionally and mentally exhausted, we don’t always want to get to know the people around us or have them know us.
I love talking about community. I love it because it reflects so much of God’s heart and character. God is a Trinity; Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. God is a relationship, three in one.
Since we are people made in God’s image, we are meant to live in community with other people; we see this in the early church, in God’s plan for marriage, and in Paul’s need for community. Even Jesus surrounded himself with people. God did not intend for us to live life on our own-we need other believers around us for several reasons. Being a follower of Jesus is a battle and we need others to:
The young teenage girl growing up in Tokyo never would have thought she’d come to live and work anywhere in Europe, let alone Budapest, Hungary. Goodness, she barely survived moving to the US for college. So what brought her halfway across the world? Well, it’s simple: the call to discipleship.
I remember growing up in Tokyo and all the joys of living in a city filled with kind people, phenomenal cuisine, and familiar sights. There are so many things I love about that country and despite holding a Singaporean passport I still call Japan home. My parents are missionaries, I grew up around other missionary families and attended a Christian school. Early on I learned about how Jesus spent His life on earth discipling others and teaching them what it meant to follow and love Him. I think I knew what that looked like seeing as I was exposed to ministry from a young age. Christ left His disciples, and all believers with a call to continue the work He had already started. However, I don’t think I fully understood how much deeper this calling was in shaping who I was, and how much I could apply it into my own life and get involved with discipleship myself.
My desire for control and the franticness I feel when I lack it became pronounced when I moved to Budapest last Fall. One of my responses to this transition has been to try to control as much as I can around me; whether that be the messiness of my apartment, being super punctual, and sometimes, trying to control the people around me like my teammates and friends. You can imagine how that goes… I don’t like to acknowledge how much I don’t like not feeling in control, but I come face to face with it when life don’t go my way.
I am the kind of person that likes structure; I like it when everything fits into neat little boxes. I like to be in control. Being in control of my life makes me feel secure and comfortable. It makes me feel like I am the authority of my life. But most of the time, the second we start to feel like we’re in control something comes along that changes our plan and messes that up. And I think I know why. Because if life worked in perfectly, calculated ways that we could have full control over, then we would try to make life work without God.
Jessi is an MK who has lived all over. She hopes to one day become a counselor for MK’s but right now she is living in Tennessee with her family. She joined the MK2MK team this summer to lead Xtrack.
Growing up I prided myself in being what I thought was a “good” missionary kid: obedient, respectful and above all, honest. It wasn’t until a few years ago that I realized I had lied almost every day of my life to my family, friends, and even myself with two simple words: “I’m fine.”
Bekah directed the MK2MK summer missions trip to Bosnia this past summer. Here is a reflection of her experiences and some exciting ways God worked this past summer.
God Creating a Masterpiece out of a Mess
Our very first day of ministry was spent ministering to families staying in a refugee house outside of Sarajevo. It was hectic; we had to make game-time decisions, small children were running around everywhere, and I felt very out of control. The staff was supportive and the kids were so excited for us to be there, but in my limited human view, all I could see was a messy situation. I was not looking forward to the rest of the week there. But, God took what I saw as a mess and turned it into a masterpiece. The children looked forward to us coming every day, our students were so sad when the week was over, and the staff told us how much of a blessing it was to them that we came and served there. God showed me that I can trust Him; that He can take what I see as a scattered mess of broken pieces, and turn it into something beautiful; that He uses for our good and His glory.