It’s a phrase we hear in the church all the time, that we should “do life together”. But what does that really mean?
To do life is not just to spend time together, because we do that with people we barely even know at most of our jobs. Doing life together is to come to a place of “dependence” on one another. It’s a way to trust one another and rely on them to invest in us, and they must rely on us to invest in them.
I know people who used to say for them they thought about and cared for people as groups and not as individuals. It was more about “people” than about “persons”. This is flawed for more reasons than I can count, but one of those reasons is that it is impossible to do life with a group. You can only do life in a group, and this requires doing life with individual people, one at a time. Doing life with people is slow and inefficient, but it’s also beautiful and biblical.
For me to do life with someone, I have to give of my time and energy and resources to the betterment of their life. I have to hear them out, their joys and woes, and speak honestly into their life without condemning them, falsely labeling them, or giving up on them. I have to pray for them and correct them and be open to correction.
I have to hand them money when they are in a bind and not just say “I’ll pray for you” or “I hope that turns out ok” or “God will provide”.
According to Galatians 6:2 I have to “Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.”
According to Romans 12:13 I must “Contribute to the needs of the saints and seek to show hospitality.”
Doing life with someone is not just about showing up at a small group with some people and praying for 15 minutes and reading a prescribed Bible passage and maybe planning an event every so often. It is not just about attending the same worship service and loving the same God. It is those things, but it’s also about dependence upon one another. It requires that you open up and share things you may not want to share so that others can bear your burdens and provide for your needs, it requires a trust and an ability to cry with someone or simply listen. It requires that when others take the leap and open up that you receive them and have a passion for their lives so that the pool they jump into is not found empty and unwelcoming. Doing life together is hard, humbling, and painful sometimes, but man it sure feels good to have people to cry with, laugh with and be your imperfect self with.