Surviving and Thriving: Giving Tuesday Reflections

Last week was Thanksgiving, and when people asked what I was thankful for, my answer was simple: Survival.

I faced a series of health crises in the middle of this year that left me mostly incapacitated for months. Recovering from this has been a long road, but the fact is that God’s strength is made perfect in our weakness: As I stepped back to tend to my health, God brought more people into this work and charged them with more energy than we had before.

When I came back from my illness, I discovered that our ministry was in a new position of health and strength. This shouldn’t surprise me:

"For where two or three have gathered together in my name, I am there in their midst."

Matthew 18:20 (NASB)

"Just as a body, though one, has many parts, but all its many parts form one body, so it is with Christ. ... But in fact God has placed the parts in the body, every one of them, just as he wanted them to be. ... Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it."

1 Corinthians 12:12, 18, 27 (NASB)

Jesus tells us that he works in this world through gatherings of believers who are dedicated to functioning as his hands and feet together—not through charismatic individuals pushing others through strategic plans.

The difference may seem subtle, but it’s vital: For Chrsitians, loving and serving our communities, building healthier systems and structures, doesn’t mean re-creating other people in our own image. It doesn’t mean getting other people on board with our agenda. It means examining the needs of the world around us in light of not just our own gifts and passions, but those of the rest of Christ’s body, as well.

As we attempt to be salt and light in the public square, we shouldn’t just ask ourselves, “What should I say?” or “What can I do?” We should ask one another, “What can *we* do together as a gathered body of believers?”

Making that shift wasn’t just good for this ministry I get to lead—it’s the only way to honestly act in Jesus’ name.

At the Center for Christian Civics, we have programs and resources that can help turn local churches into your town’s primary engine of political de-polarization. Help Christianity be a healing force in our national politics by supporting the Center for Christian Civics today.

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