Thursday, February 02, 2006

Community and Self

“with the courage to define self,
who is as invested in the welfare of the family as in self?
who is neither angry nor dogmatic,
whose energy goes to changing self rather than telling others what
they should do,
who can know and respect the multiple opinions of others,
who can modify self in response to the strengths of the group and
who is not influenced by the irresponsible opinions of others.” Murray Bowen

"It is to weave the cloth with threads drawn from your heart,
Even as if your beloved were to wear that cloth
It is to build a home with affection,
Even as if your beloved were to dwell in that house
It is to sow seeds with tenderness and reap the harvest with joy,
Even as if your beloved were to eat the fruit." Kahlil Gibran

"Remember always that you not only have the right to be an individual, you have an obligation to be one." Eleanor Roosevelt

Jonathon Haidt states that as humans we are a mind contained in a body living in a culture. “God Gives us Hives,” is how he relates that culture is the mystical, religious, transcendent experience, and also the off button for the self. "When it is pressed we know that we are creatures of the Hive as well as being walled-off individuals."

Living and growing as a Christ follower is to be inextricably exploring our sense of self, our make-up as a mind/body/spirit entity that lives within a culture, a community of faith. Our community is often referred to as our 'church', and it is not only external to us but also the medium that we live in, as a fish in water.

I believe that this is the sense of finding our life when we give it up. To gain the truest sense of self is to release that self to God in the community He has placed us in.

Matthew 10:38-42
If you refuse to take up your cross and follow me, you are not worthy of being mine. If you cling to your life, you will lose it; but if you give it up for me, you will find it. "Anyone who welcomes you is welcoming me, and anyone who welcomes me is welcoming the Father who sent me. If you welcome a prophet as one who speaks for God, you will receive the same reward a prophet gets. And if you welcome good and godly people because of their godliness, you will be given a reward like theirs. And if you give even a cup of cold water to one of the least of my followers, you will surely be rewarded."


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