When, we grow in love and wisdom the whole community benefits. When we refuse to grow, it means that
we are afraid to grow and this in turn prevents the community from growing. It is important to remember that
individuals are responsible for individual growth.
Often flight from a community can be traced to fear, the fear of having
relationships. Relationships can be messy, so we would rather go and save the
world instead of developing relationships with people.
To have deep meaningful relationships means that we need to become
vulnerable to one another. It means that we have to open ourselves, and this can be terrifying. It means
entrusting ourselves to others, and that is quite scary. Often this can be a
time of growth for the individual and the community as we become aware of our
weaknesses and our strengths. Nothing is hidden. This often leads to peace when we are
in touch with ourselves. When we strip ourselves naked it means that we have
given up power, the power over our secret self. This can be frightening.
We join communities for different reasons but the most important reason
is that we want to grow. However growth takes place because we are aware of our own limitations. I tend to over
commit myself, so I have learnt to delegate and I am teaching myself to say
NO. This stops me from occupying the lime light and this allows others to take the stage.
It means that one has to be aware of one’s limitations, and human
weaknesses like human energy, the forces of egoism, fear, aggression and
self-assertion. These can be barriers that can prevent people from growing and knowing each other. We need the Spirit of God to overcome these barriers, and in the process we are healed, and we further discover
ourselves. “To grow in love is to allow this spirit of Jesus to grow in us.
Growth takes on another dimension when we allow Jesus to penetrate us, to give
us new life and new energy.” (Vanier 1982:89) What is important to remember, is
that growth comes from God, who leads and directs our lives. God frees us from
the human energy that can entrap us.
Vanier says, “To reach maturity in love, to carry the cross of
responsibility, we have to get beyond the enthusiasm, the utopias and the
naiveties of adolescence.” (Vanier 1982:89)
My name is Barnabas Sibusiso Nqindi, rector of St Barnabas-Bluff. I enjoy a good debate and I love to see people grow in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ