Are you a Lone Ranger?

Work at living in peace with everyone, and work at living a holy life, for those who are not holy will not see the Lord. Look after each other so that none of you fails to receive the grace of God. Watch out that no poisonous root of bitterness grows up to trouble you, corrupting many. (Hebrews 12:14-15)

The process of 'working at living in peace' in the original Greek language indicates there is no point at which we 'arrive' at peace or a holy life - it is a continual process. We live each day with the attitude of finding peace with each other and encouraging each other to live holy lives. If you have ever been the instigator of trouble, you know how easily others will follow you, especially when the 'trouble' you are initiating is kind of 'fun'. You can get some out of their comfort zone, while others just seem to enjoy the folly right along with you. Wouldn't it be great if it was as easy for us to 'instigate' holiness and right choices, getting others to follow along in the joy of living upright lives?

We have a responsibility to make wise choices - to look after each other as we do. If you are a kind of independent sort, you might not see much benefit in others looking out for you - looking after you so that you don't fall into some temptation that might catch you unaware. You kind of want to 'Lone Ranger' it, believing you can live a holy life without the help of anyone else. How's that been working for you? Have you found yourself dealing with the same frustrating issues in your life time and time again? It is likely because you have been attempting to live 'independent' from others. You have no one 'watching out for you' as you 'live life'. The trouble with that level of 'independence' is that we are never meant to live out holiness alone - it is a 'group effort'.

We need to watch out for one another - like it or not. We need the 'friction' of some relationships to show us where we have rough edges that still need a bit of work. We require the 'intrusion' of other relationships to reveal where it is we still focus too much on ourselves. We can think of life together as a negative thing, or we can embrace it as God intended. We 'work' better in community - seeing what others cannot, finding ways to encourage when the going gets tough, and avoiding pitfalls that seem so obvious to us, but are hidden from the view of another. If this is God's plan for living holy lives - we need to move 'inside' his plan and stop trying to live as 'Lone Rangers' in this world. Just sayin!


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