With little question, to move beyond the troubles of our nation, we have to learn to talk and walk with one another better - we need more collaborative and healthy communities. What does it look like to live in healthy relationships with those around us? The Life Together series will explore seven necessary things for faithful, healthy relationships.
Let us not say “Peace, peace,” when there is no peace. We must commit to the unequal and preferential option for Black lives, for, God knows, our Black brothers and sisters, in their bodies and in their souls, have long suffered and suffer now an unequal share of the pain in the unholy name of anti-black racism upon which the supremacy of whites have been built.
Encouragement, which comes in many forms, is necessary for healthy and faithful relationships. We have the ability to encourage another by offering affirmation. And yet, sometimes we should not be affirmed. At times, our encouragement needs not to show up as affirmation, but to show up in the form of exhortation, where we are encouraging others to live more faithfully.
Through acknowledgment of what is, by naming sin that exists, by naming our participation and benefit from sin, freedom becomes possible. Because of God’s love in Jesus Christ, we can claim our sin, we can be made new, and we can have a new life that exemplifies God’s love.
Why do we value multi-tasking so much? Why is American individualism defined by busyness? Perhaps we should slow down and acknowledge God’s call, not for our own exceptionalism, but for a unified global well-being.
Listening is redemptive; it has the power to change lives and communities. If we’re going to see positive change in the world – if we’re going to see positive change in our own community – we have to start listening.
In recent weeks, if it wasn’t already known, it has become quite clear, we are an ungrateful people. We need a reset to rethink our relationships, our expectations, and our place in the community. We need, like the healed Samaritan Leper, to be a bit more grateful for the life – the new life – we are offered in Jesus Christ.