I think this aspect of Christian living is difficult not just for me, but for many believers. So much of evangelical Christianity has a strong emphasis on the personal relationship one has with Christ, and clearly that is the main cog of Christian living. Yet I find myself continually challenged in knowing that being a true Christ follower means that our personal relationship with Christ pushes us toward community with others.
“This developing vertical relationship of loving the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit will find its manifestations on the horizontal, since there is no act that begins with the love of God that does not end with love of neighbor” (Boa).
Relational living should really be viewed in 2 ways.
- We need to be interacting with fellow believers.
- We also need to be spending time with people who do not call themselves Christians.
Just as we can live in our own personal bubble by never interacting with other people outside of our workplaces and homes, we can also create a Christian bubble by never reaching out to nonbelievers. Here are some good questions to ask yourself when thinking about this:
- Have I integrated into a commununal relationship with other Christian believers?
- Am I observing and growing in my relationship with others?
- Am I relationally connecting with unbelievers in any way shape or form? If so, how can I be a positive influence for Christ in that relationship?
(PS, I’m an introvert so this whole notion is difficult for my personality that prefers time alone)