I love honesty. It can be so liberating.
Charles Moore, a member of the Bruderhof community in England, wrote about his experiences leaving society for communal living. He and his wife sold everything and left a “successful life” to join a radical Christian community. They left the selfish live of me-focused consumerism for the bliss of communal living. Charles hoped his change of lifestyle would change his obsession with himself.
But it didn’t. While the communal living has helped him feel more connected with other Christians, he wrote that he still wants his own way – even after live in community. You can change the environment, but the core problem still exists.
Charles Moore found himself resentful when friends left the community without giving an explanation. At first, he wanted to protest when the community asked him to do manual labor that did not take advantage of his academic talents. As he started to examine himself, he saw things that he did not like. Then he turned his gaze to Jesus and God began to work in him the change that he desired all along.
Charles wrote, “When we join together because of God’s love and do so in humble recognition of our own selfishness, the ego-transforming power of Christ lifts us beyond ourselves. He stands among us and joins us together in selfless abandon. Although there are personal benefits to living in community, true community consists of becoming free of oneself for the sake of love. It’s a mystery how this happens. It begins by letting go and letting God free use to be the creations we are: beings who live for the sake of others. When this occurs the bond between souls is so marvelous that personal pursuits and fulfillment pale before it.”
Charles story hit me squarely in the gut. I can really relate with it. I tend to think that my selfishness would be different if my surrounds were to only change. Or if people around me would be more loveable, it would be easier to do more for them without expecting anything in return.
Oh, how easy we can be deceived. It is not anything external that needs to change. It is really quite simple I tend to be selfish because I have a fallen nature. And there are still areas that I have not let God fix.
I know God’s track record is impeccable. But there is still a mystery to God’s ways. I remain somewhat uncertain – unable to completely trust Him.
God, change my heart. Build my faith in You. May I yield to Your transforming power and become more like Christ, the selfless, suffering King. Amen!