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Are You Known?

May 16, 2010

How many people do you really know?

I don’t mean you know their wife’s name, how many children they have, or where they live. I’m talking about you know them: their dreams, desires, failures and pain. You know why they react to their children when they make mistakes with anger, or why they can’t seem to beat that addiction to pornography. It is a shame because most couples I counsel don’t even know their spouses that well.

How many people really know you?

It is sad to say that most people choose to hide who they are to the world. We have been taught from an early age not to trust anyone; trust is a four-letter word. Our churches, our culture and our enemy have taught us not to trust anyone, especially with the deepest part of us, our heart. If you think I am stretching my point a little far, try this Sunday, stand up in your Sunday School class and tell them that you have a gambling problem and need financial support to help save your house. That will go well I promise!

We are not living like Jesus intended for us to live. Community, for the most part, is a façade that we talk about, but never really taste. Community forces us to be known; the good, the bad and the ugly are on display for all in the community to see. To live like this, we must learn to trust others. We must learn to trust God. This kind of community offers encouragement, grace, humility and correction without judgment.  It is rare, but it is available.

I think everybody on the planet can recite John 3:16; it seems to be the cornerstone verse for so many people who call themselves Christians. Just believe! I hate to be bearer of bad news, but believing is not enough; the Greek word for believe in this verse would be much better translated “to entrust”. To be a Christian, just believing in God is not the answer; you must trust Him with your life, and surround yourself with others you trust as well. Then you are a Follower! I pray you learn how to trust; it is great to be known.

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8 Comments leave one →
  1. May 16, 2010 8:11 pm

    i enjoyed your post. I agree, community is important in our lives. Not only do we need to learn to trust people but to be the first not to judge others. Try not judging our neighbors, our coworkers and create an environment where others are safe to let down their facades. now that is community.

  2. May 16, 2010 8:18 pm

    The key is learning how to receive. Most people don’t let their guard down enough to receive God’s love from others. Thanks for the comment. You are right on!!!!

  3. Louis Steenkamp permalink
    May 16, 2010 8:44 pm

    Thanks Mike,

    I needed to read this blog today. Transitioning back into the South African culture after being gone for so long can be a lonely ride. This is a good reminder for me to look for the support you are talking about. Hope you are well.

    Cheers

    • May 17, 2010 5:16 am

      It is great to hear from you Louis! I hope things are well. The reason Jesus spent three years with his disciples was so God would be known!!! It is one of the ways we bear God’s image; we desire to be known by others.

  4. Ralph Mclelland permalink
    May 17, 2010 7:23 am

    Trust and integrity is the key on both sides, giving and receiving. When we realize that we truely desire to be known by others the healing process starts. Weakness and fear is revealed, accepted and embraced. Healing for the giver and the receiver, it has to be shared. Could it be that giving and receiving are almost interchanble? I think maybe so. Just finished a book last night, ” The Noticer” by Andy Andrews. It’s about prespective, how we all see the things around us each day, how we see others but more importantly how others see us. Maybe that’s why my response is a little deeper that usual. How do other people see you ? A ture friend, and that’s what this is all about, will let you know what he sees. Thanks Mike for being a true friend and knowing how to receive and how to give. You keep doing what you are doing. Many are smiling.

  5. Roane Hunter permalink
    May 17, 2010 8:56 am

    Mike,

    Great stuff – love the Sunday School experiment – and you’ve touched a nerve….thus the lengthy reply (sorry).

    One of my early mentors, Bill Morris, was a pioneer in the Christ-centered support group/recovery movement. Bill helped birth a movement that we see, thankfully, continuing to grow (think Celebrate Recovery). In his book – The Complete Handbook for Recovery Ministry in the Church (Thomas Nelson – 1993) Bill laid out his vision for Christ-centered recovery fellowships. At it’s core, it is “koinonia fellowship”.

    (A disclaimer: I am biased about this book since I got to contribute to the personal stories section!)

    Koinonia is a Greek word that occurs 20 times in the Bible. Koinonia’s primary meaning is “fellowship, sharing in common, communion.” The first occurrence of koinonia is Acts 2:42, “They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer.” Authentic Christian fellowship is a key aspect of the Christian life. Believers in Christ are to come together in love, faith, and encouragement. It is how we grow and it is the essence of koinonia.

    A powerful example of what koinonia should look like can be found in a study of the phrase “one another” in the Bible. Scripture commands us to be devoted to one another (Romans 12:10), honor one another (Romans 12:10), live in harmony with one another (Romans 12:16; 1 Peter 3:8), accept one another (Romans 15:7), serve one another in love (Galatians 5:13), be kind and compassionate to one another (Ephesians 4:32), admonish one another (Colossians 3:16), encourage one another (1 Thessalonians 5:11; Hebrews 3:13), spur one another on toward love and good deeds (Hebrews 10:24), offer hospitality (1 Peter 4:9), and love one another (1 Peter 1:22; 1 John 3:11; 3:23; 4:7; 4:11-12). That is what true biblical koinonia should look like.

    We have to be intentional about seeking out others and building this type of community – but make no mistake it is not easy and we will meet opposition because there are many “Christian leaders” that would rather sell snake oil than practice the simple Truth of “knowing and being known”. Fear is a powerful . We have to be as “shrewd as serpents and tame as doves” living out what I like to call “undercover recovery”.

    “To see ourselves as others see us, it would from many a blunder free us” (Robert Burns – 17th Century Scottish poet)

    Bend the sails!

  6. Jeff Andrechyn permalink
    May 18, 2010 1:54 pm

    “This kind of community offers encouragement, grace, humility and correction without judgment. It is rare, but it is available.”

    That is a beautiful line Mike. That kind of community is a reflection of God. Its one of the ways we get to cooperate with Him.

    Jeff

    • May 19, 2010 6:42 pm

      You know more about community than most men I know Jeff! Love you bro!

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