Community is a big deal. The notion of living life connected with others and not simply surrounded by them.
All through the pages of the Scriptures we’re told, invited and modeled to pursue this connection. Connection not solely with God, but with others as well. We were not created to be or do life alone – we were created out of community (the Trinity) to live in community.
“It is not good for man to be alone…” ~Genesis 2:18
“Let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love & good deeds, not giving up mtg together…but encouraging one another….” ~Hebrews 10:24
Truth is: God never designed you or I for a solo journey… community is a must, even though it’s sometimes messy. It will involve risk. It opens us up for potential hurt, yes – but community is the only place true love can thrive and healing can find traction. Love can only flourish within relationships, never in isolation.
Community will take your investment, but it is worth it.
I can build a lot of things with money & resources, but I can’t build a healthy relationship without TIME.
“If you think you can fit deep community into the cracks of an overloaded schedule – think again. Wise people do not try to microwave friendships, parenting or marriages.” ~John Ortberg
- you can’t listen in a hurry
- you can’t mourn in a hurry
- you can’t rejoice in a hurry
- you can’t comfort in a hurry
- you can’t love in a hurry
Busyness is one of the great enemies of community.
You won’t just magically ‘get time’ – you have to make it, create it.
God not only wants us connected so we don’t stand alone, but also for our future good. God will use community to grow, develop, challenge and stretch you to become something more. I can grow in my relationship with God in solitude, but not in isolation. I love this quote:
“Christ works on us in all sorts of ways…But above all He works on us through each other.”
~C. S. Lewis
As followers of God, we’re to be moving away from aloneness and toward community.
“Christian Community is not an ideal which we must realize; It’s rather a
reality created by God in which we may participate.” -Dietrick Bonhoeffer
So, how are you doing with that? Each of us will drift toward community or toward isolation. We’re never idle. So how are you – or – how can you begin to take steps toward a life of connection and community? If it’s been awhile since you’ve attended church, or perhaps never have – why not try it. If you’re attending, but not connecting – try a small group, serve on a team, grab a meal with a few folks you sit around during service. It takes initiative yes. Is that intimidating at moments, yes.
But friend: the connected life > the surrounded life.
As Christ followers – we’re also called to help remove the aloneness of others. To live our days with our radar adjusted and alert to how we can use our presence to bless others. Aloneness creeps up within moments of challenge, struggle, failure, fear, loss and change. How can we step into those moments alongside people to meet them at their point of aloneness…
- support the struggling
- comfort those that mourn
- notice the left-behind and passed over
- listen to the lonely
Aloneness always retreats, when compassion advances
When people are hurting, the proximity of your presence is a powerful thing. Never underestimate its impact.
If we choose not to stand above people or to stand away from them, we’re left standing alongside…and that’s the moment where No One Stands Alone.