Today is Thursday, January 13th, 2005; Karen's Korner #459
For six Sundays, our Sunday School class is studying the center third of "The Purpose Driven Life", the popular book by author Rick Warren.
It is a book with nearly every sentence oozing with facts to be remembered. This coming Sunday we are looking at Purpose #2 of 5 purposes: "You were Formed for God's Family". In chapter 19 titled "Cultivating Community", the first sentence simply states, "Community requires commitment."
Warren sights five main points of culltivating "community".
One is humility. Warren says, "Humility is not thinking less of yourself; it is thinking of yourself less. Humility is thinking more of others. Humble people are so focused on serving others, they don't think of themselves."
Another is the act of "courtesy". According to Warren, "in every church and in every small group, there is always at least one 'difficult' person, usually more than one. These people may have special emotional needs, deep insecurities, irritating mannerisms, or poor social skills. You might call them EGR people--"Extra Grace Required". God put these people in our midst for both their benefit and ours. They are an opportunity for growth and a test of fellowship. Will we love them as brothers and sisters and treat them with dignity? In a family, acceptance isn't based on how smart or beautfiul or talented you are. It's based on the fact that we belong to each other. It is the same in our church family."
And the Bible verse from the chapter that we are to remember, "We understand what love is when we realize that Christ gave His life for us. That means we must give our lives for other believers." (I John 3:16)