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  • Renata Joseph

My Sister's Keeper


The theme of Christian community, relationships and accountability has been on repeat in my life as of late. In our church's book study of "The Purpose Driven Life" we are looking at what it means to be members of the body of Christ. Is it enough to say the Sinner's Prayer and simply stop-by the local church during "big" holidays? Is it enough to slip into the back of the sanctuary late and slip back out after service is done? Is that what God is looking for? Is that all we should expect from our membership in the family of God?


We had a membership meeting at our church this past weekend and we spent time asking some hard questions about how we are doing as a church at "being family" with one another. Do we welcome people? Do we open our lives to truly get to know each other? Do we search for the one lost lamb, leaving the 99 behind? If we are not doing that, we are dropping the ball.


Building true, authentic community is hard. Some cultures and individual personalities lend themselves more easily to the process, but there are no shortcuts.


John 13:35

35 "By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”


Jesus said that people would identify us with Him, not by our eloquent words or our scripture quotation, not by miracles or even good works; we would be known as His disciples if we love one another.


If we have solid doctrine, but aren't living it out in community, we are fooling ourselves. If we preach love, but never reach out to love others, we are falling short. If we call ourselves family, but avoid accountability and authenticity, we are no better than hypocrites. If we harbor resentment and bitterness against our sisters in Christ, we are falling short of His call to unity. It is easy to embrace a doctrine of love; one that absolves us of our sin and wrongdoing and never look to see how we can be that Gospel, that good news, to someone else.


I am challenged and I hope you are too. This world needs more love, more real relationships. Today I resolve to do that, to be that, in my church and sphere of influence. I will be my sister's keeper. Will you?



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