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On Flourishing

On Flourishing

This is the third post in our series on the Core Values of Sonoran Community Church. You can catch up on the first and second in this series here. This week we’re going to think about our third Core Value: Flourishing.

Flourishing has become a popular word in society lately, especially the term human flourishing which seeks to measure and promote “overall life satisfaction”. Flourishing to the secular thinkers of society see it as encompassing ones health, finances, mental wellbeing, their social network, and their happiness. These are good and noble things to seek out and we believe every person should seek to have healthy versions of these things in their life. However, I would also add to this perspective of flourishing that one cannot be a fully flourishing human being if they are not in Christ.

God created us humans and in the story of Adam and Eve in Genesis, God shows us a picture of what He intended human flourishing to look like: humans who were not only happy and healthy but in constant and unrestricted free communion with God. If we look at the last few chapters of Revelation, this is what God desires to restore all of us to through Christ. In between these bookends, from Genesis to Revelation, we see God working with humankind to bring them back into that glorious communion with Him. However, because of the sin curse which, like a cancer, has spread to every part of creation, including humans, our communion with God is not longer unrestricted. He is holy and pure, we are broken and tainted by the sin curse and so we cannot have free unrestricted communion with Him because of our unwashed sinfulness.

So, God chose the Israelites, an enslaved and small group of people who had nothing, to be His people and to show the world His glory and how they could re-enter into communion with Him. But because of sin, He gave them the Law of Moses to show them what had to be overcome to commune with him. As we know from the Old Testament, this barrier of sin and the Law proved to be insurmountable, and Israel failed over and over and over again. Free unrestricted communion with God was hard.

Then God sent His Son, Jesus Christ to be born of a virgin, to live as both fully God and fully man to not only show the way of eternal life, but to show us what it means to live a flourishing human life as God intended. Through His life, death, and resurrection Jesus conquered sin and death, making a way for us to enter that free unrestricted communion with God the Father through faith in Jesus Christ.

Jesus said, “I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full” (John 10:10, NIV). A flourishing life is a full life and a life will never be either wholly full or flourishing until that life is in Christ. A life that is flourishing will be flourishing not just mentally and emotionally and physically but also spiritually.

Our society is not flourishing. We have our highest suicide rates of all time, we are lonelier than ever before, we are more isolated than ever before, and our mental and emotional and spiritual health is rapidly deteriorating as a consequence. The answer to all these things is not simply more programs, better mental health resources, more social help, or more awareness, or anti-bullying campaigns, or whatever it is that we think will “fix” the problem. The ultimate problem is that we can only truly and fully flourish as God intended through Jesus Christ.

We can and should go to therapy, but therapy doesn’t fix our brokenness. We can and should have more friendships, but more friendships can’t replace our need for Christ.

Hence, this is why at SCC we seek flourishing in three areas:

1. We seek the flourishing of our neighbors and neighborhoods.

It is extremely important that as Christians we are not just handing out fliers in our neighborhoods but that we are befriending our neighbors, loving on our local schools, helping at the local soup kitchens, supporting local homeless programs, and sharing the Gospel on a constant and consistent basis with our friends, family, coworkers, and neighbors.

2. We seek the flourishing of other local bodies of believers.

We are not in competition with other churches who love Jesus, we are in cooperation for the Kingdom with them. So then we pray for them, we love them and we don’t speak ill of them. We seek their flourishing as fellow believers in Christ and not just our own.

3. We seek to be disciples of Jesus who are flourishing emotionally, mentally, and spiritually.

Getting information is great but if after following Jesus all we do is learn the Bible and doctrine we haven’t actually grown into the full and flourishing life. We seek as disciples of Jesus to grow in our emotional health which means maturing emotionally. We seek as disciples of Jesus to be flourishing mentally which means taking advantage of current mental health knowledge and resources to work through our traumas and hurts so that Christ can begin to heal us of them. We seek as disciples of Jesus to be flourishin

g spiritually which means that we don’t just grow in our knowledge of God and the Bible but also in our maturity in Christ and to grow closer to the Father.

By flourishing as believers in Christ we can show hope to a world that is aching to be known by and to know Christ, to flourish fully as human beings who are loved by their Creator.

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