Life is beautiful when it's lived well in community. When boundaries or values are put in place that are for our flourishing, we actually flourish. What values can you name that you have in place?
This is the fourth video in a four-part series on inspiring strength from Rev. Lisa Yebuah, of Southeast Raleigh Table.
Hebrews 13:1-8, 15-16
Keep on loving one another as brothers and sisters. Do not forget to show hospitality to strangers, for by so doing some people have shown hospitality to angels without knowing it. Continue to remember those in prison as if you were together with them in prison, and those who are mistreated as if you yourselves were suffering.
Marriage should be honored by all, and the marriage bed kept pure, for God will judge the adulterer and all the sexually immoral. Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.”
So we say with confidence, “The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid. What can mere mortals do to me?”
Remember your leaders, who spoke the word of God to you. Consider the outcome of their way of life and imitate their faith. Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.
... Through Jesus, therefore, let us continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise—the fruit of lips that openly profess his name. And do not forget to do good and to share with others, for with such sacrifices God is pleased.
In my church community, we have 5 core values and 3 guiding principles. I’m going to share them really quickly with you because they’ll help you understand where I’m going with our conversation about doing life with others and to persevere with each other:
Our core values are:
- 1We show up.
- Our language is blessings.
- Disarm with beauty.
- We believe in the power of prayer.
- Think big.
Our guiding principles are:
- Race is always on the table - honest about the constructs/affect us
- Thoughtfulness is our middle name - intentional interact/no harm
- Our purpose is our focus - best for our community
We often say, these are not just words we plaster on our website or on an one-pager. These values and principles genuinely help us do life well together when we live into these values and principles well. It matters how we talk to each other - blessing or cursing. It matters if we show up or not — people will feel seen or feel invisible.
I understand why we might bristle at the thought of being regulated by rules or asking folks to be all-in on a set of values, because we live in a world that sometimes polices us in ways that are not fair, just, or God-honoring. However, when boundaries or values are put into place that are for our flourishing…we actually flourish.
All communities — that can be family units in whatever way they take shape, networks of friends, connection with colleagues need boundaries to shape their collective lives. “Rules” then are not meant to stifle life. Instead, they are in place to cultivate it.
This is how we persevere with each other — with paradigms for loving in action and not just words / of genuinely being hospitable and making space and holding space for each other / of drawing near to each other’s experiences — Brene Brown calls it “holding hands with strangers” which is so different than creating distance with others / of choosing to be our best selves so that we don’t harm one another - realizing that my actions/your actions have consequences / and probably most importantly we are to treat people and ourselves like we bear the image of the Divine — THIS IS HOW WE DO LIFE WELL TOGETHER. THIS IS HOW WE PERSEVERE WITH EACH OTHER AND LIFE IN COMMUNITY NOT BE A BURDEN.
I’m going to ask you a personal question: Are there strains in your relationships with others? Maybe, just maybe there are some ways of life together you can put into place that might repair the breach: speak more gently / be more patient / listen before reacting / treat people like they embody beauty, not just as a left swipe or right swipe. What are some boundaries, values that might help you to flourish, really flourish?
[Posted August 27, 2019]