We were created for community! We were not meant to live this life alone. But if we are not careful, we can slip into isolation and live a very lonely life.
Long gone are the days of sipping ice tea on the front porch with our neighbors. Matter of fact, if we are honest, years have gone by without even saying one word to them. Sadly, that has been true for me. But the Lord is doing something in my heart. He is reminding me that it's NOT about me. I am learning that as I press into others, something spiritual happens.
When we engage in others life we are being exactly what God created us for. Now, let me preface with...aloneness is ok. Even Jesus pulled away from the crowd to be by himself for some time. The difference is...HE WAS NOT ALONE. He met with the Father. So know this, if you are a believer in Christ, you are NEVER alone. We can regain some energy by spending time with the Father and then we go back out into our communities (places God had placed us to do the work He has called us to).
Community | com・mu ・ni ・ty
a group of people living in the same place or having a particular characteristic in common.
a feeling of fellowship with others, as a result of sharing common attitudes, interests, and goals.
We have become such a instant gratification driving society, that we don't see our need for community. Creating community takes time. It doesn't happen over night and it takes work. I am just going to lay this down right here...a majority of the younger generation do not want to work. Tim Keller says of millenials and their desire for community...
“ The younger generation doesn’t want to make the sacrifices that enable community to happen, which means you have to limit your options. You can’t just travel everywhere. You can’t just move every two years. You can’t just live any way you want.”
“So many of the commitments and the sacrifices you’ve got to make in order to be part of a community and the curtailments of the freedom that goes with that, young people don’t want. So they want community yet they’re not willing to pay the price. I think that’s both the best and the worst about your generation.” - Tim Keller
I am going to add to what Tim Keller said,...A majority of Americans don't want to work...work at relationships, community, investing in others.
But... it is essential! And especially true for Christian Community.
"Our character is mainly shaped by our primary social community - the people with whom we eat, play, converse, and study." - Tim Keller
The people you surround yourself with are those who speak into the narrative of your life. When you encounter hard trials and circumstances, they are the ones that are speaking into it.
What are the things you are hearing?
Are you hearing that you are dearly loved? Are you hearing that there is nothing that can separate you from the love of Christ? Are you hearing that what Satan tries to use for bad, God has actually orchestrated for good. Are you hearing that you are NOT a mistake!! Are you hearing that Jesus paid the penalty over 2000 years ago on the cross which leaves a blessing for you and me instead of a curse, EVEN WHILE WE WERE YET SINNERS??
Do you have people in your life who don't skirt issues but press into them and bring truth and healing in the midst of it?
Do you have people in your life that will hold the gospel up so that you can see your story in light of Christ's death, life and resurrection?
How do we build community? Well, this could be a whole other blog post. But one thing I know for sure...Look around you! Who are the people God has already placed in your life? Sometime we make it harder than it really should be. Sometimes the community is right under our nose if we would just take the time and set our insecurities aside.
It is simple but it is not easy! It means dying to self and focusing on others. If we made it more about others instead of what we get out of it, it would be a healthier community. A community that seeks to serve not be served.
What about me?! Am I willing to limit my options so that I can experience true community that functions like family?!?🤔
Or am i the type that wants the freedom to do what I want, when I want, and how I want with no regard for those around me.
Mmmmmmm. So much to process and think about. 💜