Shared Life: Love on Display
Hello again, lovely people!
We’re three weeks into Academy of Life and your favourite time of the week is here again - Student Blog time! This week we’re looking at practical tips for living out Shared Life as Jesus did, just in time to practise them over the weekend!
Before we get to the practical stuff, here’s what we need to understand first: living for Jesus looks radically different to living for the world. That includes Shared Life. Yes, community exists in the world, but the depth of relationship and self-sacrifice involved in Jesus’ way of shared life stands in stark contrast to our western culture.
Living this way might initially seem strange, but it’s a way of living that will create stronger relationships filled with Christ-like love - love on display for the world around you to see.
Without further ado, here are your practical tips for living out Shared Life.
· Invite friends around for a meal. Take the time to invest in the relationships that matter to you, and use the opportunity to show them that you value their friendship.
· Invite people to your accommodation who may be on the social outskirts. It might be newcomers, people who don’t have many friends, individuals who struggle with social interaction - whoever, whatever, let’s not leave anybody out. I always like to invite new people round for dinner with at least someone I’ve known a while or I sometimes feel awkward.
(N.B. Sometimes people can be difficult to converse with - they may not respond much to your comments, for example. In these instances, persevere. You don’t know what they’re dealing with inside).
· Take time to be with those that are struggling in life – often being there means more than having the right answers. Showing compassion and comforting those who are struggling is at the core of God’s heart.
· Don’t be afraid to splash to cash as you prepare to host guests. Money can be scarce as a student, but generosity is a part of God’s heart and in the same way it should be a part of ours.
· Pray together. This builds your relationship with God whilst building it with others. It also reminds us that our faith is not simply about God and me, but God and us. We are a part of a family.
· If you don’t have one already, consider getting an accountability partner. This is somebody whom you trust that you can meet up with regularly to talk about life. I used to meet once a week with my best friend at uni. We’d have dinner together, review the good things in our week, and then talk about things we might be struggling with or hoping for. And, of course, we’d get God involved and pray about these things afterwards and throughout the week! We have accountability question cards for you if you want to know where to start.
· Choose the jobs that you don’t like to do, and then do those jobs for others. Empty the bins, do someone else’s washing up, clean the kitchen without being asked - it’s the jobs that require sacrifice which are often the most appreciated.
· Let someone else serve you – especially if it feels awkward. If it feels difficult to receive love it might just be that you don’t quite understand how much God loves you.
Have a great weekend, and use the opportunity to Share Life with those around you!