Work Out Your Salvation in Community

If you're like me, you like your time alone.  You come away feeling refreshed, revitalized, and ready to live for Christ.  And then you come into contact with real people again.  And it doesn't take long before you feel tired and impatient.  Sure you could chalk up some of this to your temperament, but we all know something deeper is going on.  It's called sanctification.  God wants us to be in community with others because that's where we change.  That's where sin is exposed and humility is grown.  That's where mistakes are made and grace is given. Don't get me wrong.  We need both community and solitude.  As Dietrich Bonhoeffer once said,

"Let him who cannot be alone beware of community.  Let him who is not in community beware of being alone."

How true.  But the danger in solitude is that we miss the fellowship of others who can help us see into our souls.  We miss the encouragement and exhortation from those who care about the outcome of our faith.  As B. Witherington so eloquently put it,

"The community, not the closet, is the place where our salvation is worked out."

Practically, wouldn’t it be wonderful to wed these two together in some kind of outing with others in your church?  Solitude mingled with community.  Community mingled with solitude.  Sounds like a worthwhile and perhaps life-changing idea.