Gospel Links for Gospel Culture (6/7)
Sure, they are next to each other, but they aren’t connected in the soil, they aren’t sharing the spray from the hose. Their roots are restricted. They don’t pull and tug when one is moved.
These plants are together, but they are also alone.
How many of our church communities are just like these potted plants?
Repentance requires no foot-dragging, blame-shifting, excuse-ridden compliance that bends under someone else’s forced demands on us. Instead, true repentance is earnestly expressed in fellowship within our local church as a genuine surrender to biblical truth inserted into our lives by those who love God and care about us. When we’re repentant, we see the necessity of rebuilding trust with others, even if it takes longer than we planned.
I’ve savored this kind of precious conversation, especially in our digital age. When someone puts their phone away to look me in the eye, I feel valued. It is an honor to know that the person in front of me is getting emails, texts, social media notifications—and to know that they are ignoring this stream of information to pay attention to me.
When I see that phone disappear, I hear a clear message: “I could be somewhere else right now, but I’m choosing to be with you.”
As leaders, whether we have larger or smaller spheres of influence, we should want to get better at multi-directional leadership, and the way we will do so is by recognizing and resisting a number of temptations. Here’s the first.
We’ve had a lot of family “together” time, and I had dreamed it’d go smoother, but it seems like chaos has reigned instead of calm. And yet, we’ve also had a lot of opportunities for growth. My kids have witnessed me at the end of my rope, but they also watched me apologize and ask for forgiveness. They might have completely wrecked the house, but they also learned that it takes hard work to put everything back in order. But mostly, I was reminded that motherhood is less about creating opportunities for productivity and fun, and more about pointing my kids to our deep need for Jesus.