Shaping Community

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“Creative Commons Community Space + baseline” by Luc Legay is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Ephesians 4:25 – 32 25 Therefore, after you have gotten rid of lying, Each of you must tell the truth to your neighbor because we are parts of each other in the same body. 26 Be angry without sinning. Don’t let the sun set on your anger. 27 Don’t provide an opportunity for the devil. 28 Thieves should no longer steal. Instead, they should go to work, using their hands to do good so that they will have something to share with whoever is in need. 29 Don’t let any foul words come out of your mouth. Only say what is helpful when it is needed for building up the community so that it benefits those who hear what you say. 30 Don’t make the Holy Spirit of God unhappy—you were sealed by him for the day of redemption. 31 Put aside all bitterness, losing your temper, anger, shouting, and slander, along with every other evil. 32 Be kind, compassionate, and forgiving to each other, in the same way God forgave you in Christ. (CEB)
[Scripture taken from the Common English Bible®, CEB® Copyright © 2010, 2011 by Common English Bible.Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.]

Being very human and not fully integrated within, we need to agree on some boundaries that will help us structure our relationships as a community. For example, lying about our neighbors breaks the very trust upon which our community depends.

It is important to recognize anger within ourselves and others. However, we dare not let our actions toward one another be shaped by those angers. Actually, the best course of action is to confront those angers as they arise, name them, and then find a way beyond them.

Let yourself be known by your diligence and work-ethic not your laziness which tends to steal from the time and labor of others. And let the productivity of your work be shared with those who have needs. Be careful about what you say. Use your brain and your mouth to provide a firm platform for building creative and positive relationships with others.

If Spirit is insisting upon you, pay attention. There is probably some enlightened perception or action that you are being called to. Show compassion and understanding with one another, demonstrating a forgiving spirit where it is called for. Be an imitator of Yeshua, selling all so that you might live in love, peace, integrity, and justice.

When a community practices daily living in this manner, you become a thank-offering in the name of God. Perhaps.

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