A Generation of Retarded Christians

Compassion – has its roots in Latin, where the compound word literally means “to suffer with”.

Patience – has its roots in Latin, where the word literally means “long-suffering”.

Retard – means to delay or hold back in terms of progress, development, or accomplishment.

We live in a mobile world. It is not uncommon for people to move multiple times in one’s life time. It is a true rarity to find someone who lives where they were raised.

This mobility not only applies to homes and neighborhoods, but also how we form communities and congregations. It is inevitable that people move for jobs, marriage, divorce, and a host of other reasons.

But this mobility comes at a price.

When we move, we naturally look for people we like and get along with to form our communities and congregations. And when we don’t like the people we’ve been hanging out with in our communities or congregations, the temptation is to find another community and congregation where there are more agreeable people. And pretty soon, the only people we surround ourselves with are people we agree with and people we like and people who like us…at least for the moment, until we don’t.

All this hopping around has damaged us. It has delayed and held back our progress and development as a people.

For Christian community and fellowship develops and matures when there is a commitment to grow deeper with the same people and same place. It requires constancy. It requires a commitment to work through differences. And sometimes, it requires a commitment to love people we don’t agree with and people we may not even like.

That’s how communities grow. That’s how we mature. It’s the entire working through difficulties and differences that allow communities and Christians to mature and grow.

Deep communities are patient and compassionate. They are communities made up with people who are willing to enter into the pain of those who are suffering, and suffer as long as those who are hurting are suffering.

Deep communities are made up with people who are committed to one another, to work through disagreements and dislikes for the greater good.

Deep communities are hard. Deep communities take time…lots of it. Deep communities are messy.

Community and meaningful relationships is what we were created for.

Compassion – has its roots in Latin, where the compound word means “to suffer with”.

Patience – has its roots in Latin, where the word literally “long-suffering”.

Retard – means to delay or hold back in terms of progress, development, or accomplishment.

Genuine community and Christian maturity is shaped through compassion and patience.

Our culture is developing a generation of Christians who don’t know how to suffer with and long-suffer with a community of people. Our mobile, consumer-based, happiness-based Christianity is developing a generation of retarded Christians.

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