Encouraging Communities

I read this somewhere and I have been pondering it ever sense. I cannot remember the author, but know this thought sparked from someone else willing to share their journey. It went something like this but definitely adapted to my own journey; my 20’s I spent seeking mentors and people who could help me be the best and most successful person I could, in my 30’s I spent a lot of time wanting to be like those people and this went even in my 40’s a bit. I spent way too much time trying to be something that someone else wanted me to be, to my own and my family’s detriment. For the last 3 years, I have had a single focus in this area…working hard at being who I was created to be and surrounding myself with healthy and whole people who want the same for me.

What do those people and communities look like? Every 2nd Wednesday I get on a video call with 4 other people who love each other for who they are and simply want the best for one another. We have coined this group “The Jesus People Team”. Today we added a 5th and she was a wonderful addition to our morning video group.

During this morning’s meeting one of our amazing friends brought up the Litany of Humility, which I have never heard before. It is a prayer of humility that is designed to be stated and responded to by the congregation. It struck me in a powerful way this morning, which I will explain in a minute and why it is so important to our community.

Lord Jesus. Meek and humble of heart, Hear me.
From the desire of being esteemed, Deliver me, Jesus.
From the desire of being loved, Deliver me, Jesus.
From the desire of being extolled, Deliver me, Jesus.
From the desire of being honored, Deliver me, Jesus.
From the desire of being praised, Deliver me, Jesus.
From the desire of being preferred to others, Deliver me, Jesus.
From the desire of being consulted, Deliver me, Jesus.
From the desire of being approved, Deliver me, Jesus.
From the fear of being humiliated, Deliver me, Jesus.
From the fear of being despised, Deliver me, Jesus.
From the fear of suffering rebukes, Deliver me, Jesus.
From the fear of being calumniated, Deliver me, Jesus.
From the fear of being forgotten, Deliver me, Jesus.
From the fear of being ridiculed, Deliver me, Jesus.
From the fear of being wronged, Deliver me, Jesus.
From the fear of being suspected, Deliver me, Jesus.

That others may be loved more than I, Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it.
That others may be esteemed more than I, Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it.
That, in the opinion of the world, others may increase and I may decrease, Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it.
That others may be chosen and I set aside, Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it.
That others may be praised and I unnoticed, Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it.
That others may be preferred to me in everything, Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it.
That others may become holier than I, provided that I may become as holy as I should, Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it.

Did you know we were made for community, we were made for deep relationships, we were made to walk the paths of life with family, friends, and brothers and sisters who share our faith in Jesus.

— Rafael Cardinal Merry del Val (1865-1930)

Humility is a hard thing, because we all have an inner need to be encouraged, to be loved, to be validated, to be included, etc. This brings me to why I love this community…

  • We encourage one another – There no need to seek it, because we love each other and encourage one another.
  • We love one another – There is no need to seek it, because you know you are loved by each another.
  • We approve of one another – We are diverse and unique but each person knows the other person approves of them.
  • We honor one another – There is no need to seek it, because we choose to focus on each others strengths and gifts…honoring those things instead of the shortcomings and weaknesses.
  • We choose one another – There is no need to seek attention, because we have all chosen to spend this hours with one another every single month.
  • There is no fear of ridicule because we love one another and provide support and encouragement.
  • There is freedom to be open and honest with our weaknesses because their is only love, support, and prayer for one another.
  • There is no fear of rebuke, because it is done in love.
  • There is no fear of what others are thinking, because we all have the best intentions for one another and there is no manipulation.

We are a diverse group of Jesus Followers; Catholic, Reformed, Pentecostal, etc…we have chosen to find unity and friendship in the absolutes of our faith and not be concerned with all the little differences. We truly do have unity in our diversity because we are all on the same journey…seeking out the heart of Jesus for each other, our families, our work lives, and every area of our life!

The Litany of Humility struck me this morning, because although we all may struggle with some of the things, the Lord has surrounded me with people that help me not struggle with those things very much, because I am surrounded by people who love me and want the best for me.

Do you have that family, do you have a community of people who help you be the best you can possibly be? Stop seeking out people you inspire to be like and seek out healthy people who inspire you to be the person you were created to be!

I love you, blessings.

Scott

One thought on “Encouraging Communities

  1. drakkonrist January 15, 2022 / 6:08 am

    Hello my friend…

    I finally had a chance to sit down and read this in its entirety… It really struck a chord with me. We live in a society so caught up in bravado and extreme one-upmanship. It’s draining, at best, revolting and disgusting, at it’s worst.

    To read through the Litany of Humility and your following commentary, was refreshing. My own faith journey and life have taken some unexpected turns over the last couple years. I’m no longer at Empire. I retired from them last June after 20 years. I also went through a divorce 2 years ago. I moved back home to the Mackinaw City area last July to be close to family. In the midst of all that chaos, I became involved with the Knights Templar International. We are not affiliated with the Masons in any way, but are our own independent organization. We are non-denominational, but wholly rooted in the support and defense of the Christian faith worldwide. Members must be baptized and ascribe to the Nicene Creed as well as the ancient codes of conduct and chivalry. I was accepted, vetted, and my knighthood approved into the order. Humility is stressed as part of our code. My faith journey has become much deeper, more intense, and more intentional.

    To add to this, I had reconnected with a highschool sweetheart after my divorce was final. We got engaged shortly after I moved here. Our wedding is on Valentine’s Day. Her family pastors a small Pentacostal church.

    The pandemic has brought out the best, and, more increasingly, the worst of society globally. A humble spirit and Godly heart are often difficult to find.

    You make several wonderful observations and comments. Thank you for your thoughtful insights..

    Take care and keep the faith, my friend!!

    In Hoc Signo Vinces! Deus Vult!

    Burt

    Like

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