Living life in community is a wonderfully messy thing and I recommend it for everyone! Intentionally sharing life with people challenges, grows , matures and humbles you in the best possible ways. There are times when it brings me nothing but sheer joy to share life with great people here, to be readily available for others, to invest in them and have them invest in me. I can say beyond a shadow of a doubt that living in community has irrevociably made me a better person. I am more attentive to other's needs, more reliant on the HS for wisdom in how to respond, more careful with my words, more supportive, and a more caring human being.
However, there are times when being in a covenant relationship with people is also draining. Sometimes I feel too tired to actively engage other people. There are things that I need to get done: assignments, emails, running errands, focusing on the people around me....wait, in my desire to serve people I can easily ignore the person in front of me. In my selfishness I can choose to not engage in a conversation that will push me out of my comfort zone by using the excuse that I am "too busy serving people" or "focusing on my min." And that is what it all boils down to in the end, selfishness. I am a selfish human being that must daily fight the urge to look out for myself, to put my needs first, to make sure I am taking care of and comfortable before I focus on others.
Life in community is showing me just how deep this selfish root goes. As the Body we are called to serve one another, to regard others more highly than we regard ourselves. This is a hard thing to do because it directly counters our innate self-centred nature. Living life in community daily provides me with the opportunity to consider others more highly than myself, to put my own needs on the back-burner to listen to someone else's heart. And getting a glimpse into the heart of another human being gives you a glimpse into the heart, personality, and creativity of our Father. Every time I talk with a member of my community I am reminded of His astoundingly diverse characteristics: joy, patience, diligence, sensitivity, careful planning, creativity, burden for the lost, truth, encouragement, and justice just to name a few.
Choosing not to press into a situation or not fully investing in a relationship denies me the opportunity to experience my Father in a new way. So, in the end, not fully engaging is the most selfish thing I can do because I am ultimately denying myself the opportunity to connect to the heart of my Papa and missing out on experiencing His love in new ways.