If We Have the Spirit … Why Do We Need Community? blog
One could reason that since we have the Word of God which is powerful and sharper than a double-edged sword, and we have the Spirit dwelling in us, plus God is desiring to change us then why do we need to be in a community to make progress in recovery?
I have even had pastors ask me this question on more than one occasion. My answer is theoretically the Word and the Spirit could be enough … but how is that working for you? I have a strong knowledge of the Word and the Spirit has been in me for 47 years and yet I became addicted to porn and sex. The problem – I had no accountability, no support, and I had the amazing ability to live in denial for over 8 years.
There are a number of reasons we need to be in community in order to recover from our sexual brokenness. Here are my top three.
First – We are members of the Body of Christ and therefore connected to one another in a real and spiritual way. Paul makes this clear in 1 Corinthians 12:24-26;
“But God has put the body together, giving greater honor to the parts that lacked it so that there should be no division in the body, but that its parts should have equal concern for each other. If one part suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honored, every part rejoices with it.”
What would you do if you accidentally cut off your index finger? You would not look at it laying there on the ground and declare that the finger needs to take care of itself. It has a history of poking people in the chest and telling people where to go. It had no business getting in the way of that saw and it has been rebellious, so it is just getting what it deserves. No … that is crazy. You would pick it up and immediately head to the hospital to hopefully get it sewn back on and you would pray that it would be able to still work.
All the other members of your body will rush to whatever part becomes injured. In the same way, we need to be considering others in the body of Christ who are also addicted to porn and sex. Condemning them is of no value. Setting up rules and regulations sounds good but if they are not in the context of love and support, they have no value in bringing change.
Second – We are told numerous times in the New Testament that we are to live together in what the Bible calls fellowship.
Fellowship is Community.
It happens when believers are open and honest about what is going on in their lives … and then they help one another deal with the problems they are having. It is showing love to one another, confessing our sins to one another, caring for one another, bearing one another’s burdens, praying for one another.
In fact, there are 59 “one another’s” in the New Testament.
See them all HERE.
The closer we live life with one another the less vulnerable we are to sin. In fact, the entire reason I started writing these emails to encourage you on January 1, 2012, is because of what I read in Hebrews 3:12-13;
“See to it, brothers and sisters, that none of you has a sinful, unbelieving heart that turns away from the living God. But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called “Today,” so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness.”
Sin is deceitful and will harden your heart. It drives us into isolation through shame and we believe nobody could love us if they knew the truth about us. So, we put up walls and wear masks and pretend everything is OK … when it is anything but OK.
Third – We grow stronger and are more protected when we live in community. Solomon, the wisest men to ever live wrote these words in Ecclesiastes 4:9-12;
“Two are better than one,
because they have a good return for their labor:
If either of them falls down,
one can help the other up.
But pity anyone who falls
and has no one to help them up.
Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm.
But how can one keep warm alone?
Though one may be overpowered,
two can defend themselves.
A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.”
For these very reasons, we have 10 Online Support Teams running each week. Email me if you want to know more. If there is not a time that works for you, I will start one with you and me and it will grow as each one of them has.
Stop being a lone sheep waiting to be devoured. In the 180 OSTs, we know how to help you find greater freedom from sexual brokenness in a community of love with no condemnation.