Pursue connection
February 25, 2022, 1:11 PM

Therefore if you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any common sharing in the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind. Philippians 2:1-2

Unlike most Americans in past three weeks, I haven’t watch one bit of the Olympics. I really can’t stand them, watching the movie “Cool Running” is as close as I have come to watching them. I have to watch it every time there the Olympics are on. The movie was one of my favorite films growing up, and every since seeing it I've been captivated by the team bobsled event. 

In a sport that sends four humans hurtling faster than a car on a highway, the slightest motion or mistake means the difference between a gold medal and a trip to the hospital. When you're going 84 MPH around numerous curves, steep drops, and experiencing pressure four times than that of gravity, you need complete trust in those in your sled. Your life is literally in their hands. 

Considering my horrible back-seat driving habits, I'd make a dreadful teammate. Also, my "dad-bod" probably couldn't fit in those aerodynamic suits, but that's beside the point. Trusting your well-being to someone else is a scary venture. It leaves one vulnerable and exposed. Will they handle you with care or be reckless and inconsiderate? Relying on anyone else goes against our human nature - we like to navigate the course of life solo. 

Knowing our tendency for isolation and push toward independence, God does something unexpected; He tells us we're part of a team - the body of Christ. We need each other to deal with the twists and turns of life. In his letter to the believers in Philippi, the apostle Paul urges us to be united, have the same love, and be of one spirit and one mind. To "feel the rhythm" (if you don't know the quote, you really need to watch Cool Runnings), everyone must own their part. No country would send four total strangers with no practice time down the bobsled track, as it would be a recipe for disaster. The high call of Christ-like community entails time, focus, and investment. 

The way the Gospel gets fleshed out in our social circles is how the Gospel gets experienced - not only by us but also by a world desperate to experience a genuine and safe connection. As believers in Christ, how we connect with, invest in, and care for others should cause those around us to take notice. When we make room for each other's faults, exhibit empathy, love humbly, and forgive each other just as God has forgiven us, the impact of an encounter with Christ becomes visible. 

By pursuing our connections in a way that honors Him, God moves through us. Our imperfect yet redemptive relationships become a powerful force that bends the world toward the ways of God's Kingdom. How are you pursuing unity and fostering an others-focused mindset?

Prayer: Father God, may I offer my life to others for the sake of the whole. Let me confront the places where pride, fear, and individualism prevents me from pursuing unity and fostering community. I want others-focused love to define my days. Give me eyes to see where I can give of myself so others can experience Your grace and love. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

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