Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Living Life Together

I recently watched the movie Burnt. It was alright, not worth the theater price, but I liked the underlying theme. In one scene a character remarks to Bradley Cooper, "there is strength in needing others."

The line has stuck with me. The movie is not Christian-based, far from it in fact. But if you can get past the frequent f* bombs, there are a few good take-homes and I believe there is Biblical truth in that statement.

We are created for community, and most of us long for that authentic connection with others. We have a desire to be truly known, and we want to believe that even at our worst we can be loved and accepted.

However in this broken world, we also know that living life with others can be both rewarding and heartbreaking, joyful and painful, exciting and scary. Most of us have been hurt at the hands of others, sometimes unintentionally and sometimes intentionally.

I have dealt with the wounds inflicted by others by keeping people at arm's length, trying to control the relationships I have, or a variety of other ways to protect my heart and avoid future pain. When I'm honest with myself though, I know that these attempts are based in fear and fear-based choices reflect a lack of trust in the One who places each relationship in my life for a purpose.

We are created in God's image and His character - Father, Son and Holy Spirit - is one of perfect harmony and community. We are built to walk through life together, to love others deeply, to give and receive help and to reflect His light to others.

It is in doing life together, imperfectly, that we allow God to work through us. We can only be His hands and feet here on earth if we open ourselves up to others.

So I am learning that being strong doesn't mean proving I can do it on my own. Anyone who knows me can agree this isn't an easy lesson. I can be very bullheaded and try to prove I don't need help.

But as the character in the movie pointed out - strength comes in needing others, loving despite the price it may cost and having authentic relationships.

Thankfully the strength to do that is rooted in love, God's immeasurable love for us. His perfect love has the power to cast out fear, ground us in truth and enable us to freely and selflessly love others.

We are only able to love because He first loved us (1 John 4:19).