Thursday, December 28, 2006

pity the man who stands alone

Temptation caught me off guard yesterday. Or rather, a reminder of a temptation which I fear my own vulnerability to. It was one of those almost-opportunities that makes you wonder what you might be capable of in the actual-opportunity. These are times when I am angry to see the things that appeal to me. These are times when I am discouraged that no amount of effort seems to take the struggle away. And sometimes, these are times when I feel afraid that there is no way I will make it through a lifetime's worth of almost and actual opportunities to bite the dust.

Thankfully, a dear friend and mentor called me not long after, saying, "Oh good, I can hear that you're already at the coffee shop. How 'bout I stop by in a little while?" She did, and we talked over coffee for an hour or so, chatting about several things, including my own recent frustration in all its ugliness. As usual, she expressed a not-so-shocked understanding that made me feel at ease.

As I walked back to my car after saying goodbye, my mind wandered back to that same temptation, and suddenly it held no appeal at all. Being in the presence of another Christ-follower, talking about the things of him, and sharing hearts with honesty, had momentarily made the lies look a little more like...well, lies.

I was reminded then of the importance of walking in community with the body of Christ. On my own, I really should fear the lifetime's worth of opportunities to sin, because I probably wouldn't make it. My strength comes with the choice to remain firmly rooted in relationships (even when I feel like running into hiding) that are full of the presence of God, to never cease being fully transparent with all my faults, to always grant those I love permission to speak truth into my life. I needed my friend yesterday, to step into my temptation and remind me of the something better that is the love of Jesus Christ.

We talk about it a lot, but I think we often forget just how much we really need one another. The truth of this become more and more clear to me as time goes on; if I attempt to do faith as a solo flight, I'm guaranteed to hit the ground.

"Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful. And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds. Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching." (Hebrews 10:23-25)

"If one falls down,
his friend can help him up.
But pity the man who falls
and has no one to help him up!"
(Ecclesiastes 4:10)


Kjersten said...

So, so true! Quality time with friends is life-giving. Thanks, I needed the reminder!

Olin said...

I hate the ugly things inside. HATE em! I was just reading in James encouragement to the same effect.

Cactus said...

so very true

Jason Rhue said...

This blog has an uncanny resemblance to the blog I wrote (inspired by the Spirit) two months later...even down to reference from Hebrews 10:25.

Do you think the Holy Spirit desperately is trying to make this biblical 'fellowship' become a reality at Pierced, Woodmen Valley, the Body in Colorado Springs...and the Church Universal?

How beautiful that such babes as you and I get to play a part in God's work...I am in awe. I appreciate you Katie. And since I am given to exhortation, I'm going to send an encouraging scripture to your email (it's a bit long for this comment).