Doing life together. It’s the ubiquitous Christian phrase used to express the idea that we don’t just go to church together, but that we share meals, fun, struggles, and joys. Doing life together is used to describe camping trips, backyard cookouts, and all kinds of other fun things!
Side note: Have you heard of Jon Acuff? He’s one of my favorite authors. If you’re okay with a little snark, you should check him out. Here’s his post on this phrase: Doing life together.
As Christians, we’re encouraged to live in community. To share our hearts and lives with each other. The encouragement usually comes with a great story of a fun time had by all. If the phrase shows up in a video at church, everyone on screen will be smiling and laughing. Doing life together can definitely be fun. But y’all…if we do this right, it’s also really hard.
You know why? Life isn’t easy. There’s nothing easy about doing life with someone who only has a few months left to live. It’s not easy to comfort a friend whose son is gripped by addiction or a friend who just miscarried her baby. But it’s worth it, friends, and it’s the heart of God.
Another reason this whole “doing life together” thing isn’t easy is because people suck sometimes.
Yep, that’s right. You do and I do. It’s why God had to send his precious son to die for us.
People will let you down. They might misunderstand your words and your heart. They might not appreciate your effort or sacrifice. (I have been guilty of these. How about you?)
The truth is…
Do you ever get tired of doing life together? Do you ever think it’d be easier just to live in your own little bubble, disconnected from other Christians? I’ve thought that before too.
The truth is, how we feel about it doesn’t matter. We are commanded to love one another with the kind of love that lives up close…
By this all people will know that you are my disciples if you have love for one another. John 13:35
In fact, Jesus prayed for us to be ONE. He wants us to be as close to each other as he is to the Father:
I do not ask for these only (Jesus’ twelve disciples), but also for those who will believe in me through their word (us), that they may all be one, just as you, Father, are in me, and I in you… John 17: 20-21a
He’s also commanded us not to give up:
Let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap if we do not give up. So then, as we have opportunity, let us do good to everyone, and especially to those who are of the household of faith. Galatians 6:9-10
To do anything less than live life with other believers is disobedient.
Jesus modeled this for us. He did life with guys who doubted him, missed his point most of the time, and denied knowing him.
He loved long and he loved through. He moved toward the mess, not away from it. That’s what we have to do too!Jesus loves long and he loves through. He moves toward the mess, not away from it. Click To Tweet
The only way we can do this is to lay aside our fleshly objections and set our eyes firmly and constantly on Jesus:
…let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross… Hebrews 12:1-2
We can endure all things, including messy people and messy situations, for the one who endured the cross for us. Amen?
And we might even get to have a little fun in the process…
What’s the hardest part about doing life together with other Christians? How do you think we can do it well?