Last Sunday we explored how a community can prevent betrayal. You can download the sermon here.
What we discovered is that if we walk with people we can stop people from “walking out into the darkness” alone. That’s what happens to Judas. He is with his friends, brothers, and community and he walks out into the darkness under suspicious circumstances with no one inquiring about him. No one cared enough to stop Judas, to ask how he was doing, or to ask where he was going. The community let him walk out into the darkness alone.
But we can learn from the disciples’ mistakes.We can care. We can connect. We can stop people from walking into darkness, sin, and betrayal. But how? By always walking with them. If someone is walking out into the dark, you can walk with them bringing the light and love of Jesus with you. If a community walks together then no one will walk alone. That reality can change the course and direction of someone’s life.
On Sunday we landed on three ways you can walk deeply with others. You can give people your time, your full attention, and space. You can give people time to check in, to catch up, and to actually have a conversation. Deep conversations can’t happen over Facebook, or on route to get coffee after church. Give some time for someone to open up.
Then also give them your full attention. So often when we are in conversations with people we are just waiting for our turn to talk. Turn that around. Wait for your turn to listen. Give the other person your full attention, not figuring out your next question, when you can jump in, or what you can say. Make them the focus.
And lastly, give them some space to talk and to go deeper. So ask some difficult but important questions. Ask how they are truly doing. Give them space and an opportunity to talk to you. They might not choose to, but at least they will know you cared enough to ask.
So this week ~ walk deeply with those around you. Make a decision to never let a friend walk out into the darkness alone; and give people your time, attention, and space. Take your responsibility to your community and friends seriously. Never let anyone walk into the darkness alone, by making a commitment to walk with them wherever they may go…