You were designed by God to thrive in community with others. It's not a want, it's an absolute necessity.
It is not good for man to be alone Genesis 2:18
In the beginning of scripture we learn that God made man for relationship, first with Him and secondly with one another. He looked at Adam and said “it is not good for man to be alone” (Gen. 2:18). Not only did God create a spouse for Adam, but He directed them to fill the earth with people. God wanted families to form, communities to grow, people to find strength and safety through sharing life. It’s not so different than the animal kingdom. Most animals are safe, heathy, and thriving in packs, herds, flocks, or schools. When one separates from the herd, it becomes weak and vulnerable to predators.
Wise, strong men and women of God know something critical, they were designed to thrive in the context of rich community. It’s easy to buy the lie that community is a want not a need, it’s icing on the cake but we can make do without it. Satan loves to separate a believer from the Body. We are most vulnerable when we are isolated. That doesn’t always look like an empty social calendar either. We can be busy, around people constantly, and yet not authentically known, committed or connected to anyone. From our cubicle walls to our picket fences, we tend to draw lines and put ups barriers to authentic relationship. Walls give us a false sense of security, protecting us from hurt. But they actually heighten our insecurities and our susceptibility to believe lies from the enemy. Isolation leads to division, comparison, judgment, offense, gossip, arrogance and eventually our destruction.
We were designed by God to be the safest and strongest version of ourselves when we live in community. Regardless, of circumstances and personality types, this is true for every one. It’s not just true for the ladies, or the extroverts, or the social connectors. It’s true for the most reserved and quiet in the bunch. It is God’s best for the one going through hardship. We were made for community.
The New Testament is packed with language that reinforces this belief. Jesus shared his life with 12 disciples (Luke 6:12-16). He sent them out to minister in pairs (Luke 9:1-6). Paul explains how we are members of a Body each with different gifts working together to fulfill the plans of God (Romans 12:5). The Early Church demonstrated this belief through communal living. The scriptures say, “All the believers were together and had everything in common…Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts” (Acts 2:44,46). From every background, socioeconomic status, and race these believers crossed the lines that divided them, and thrived in Christ-centered community.
As you consider your calendar this week, are there some people Holy Spirit is urging you to connect with on a deeper level? Invite a couple over for dinner. Have coffee with a co-worker. Join a small group at your church. Be brave, cross the fences in your neighborhood or walk around the cubicle walls at work and open up you life, your stories, your heart to others. I promise the opportunity for love and strength far outweighs the potential pain we so fiercely fear. Here are some truth statements you can mediate on this week as you consider pushing further into authentic, Christ-centered community.
I am wired by God for community.
We were made to live together not apart. It was God’s intention from the very beginning.
Vulnerability leads to authentic community.
Community is absolutely essential to thrive.
Community brings love, courage, and strength into your everyday life.
We don’t get a gold star in heaven for surviving life by ourselves.
God thank you for hardwiring me with a nature that thrives in community. I trust you with my fears and ask you to embolden me this week to connect with those around me on a deeper level. Lord would you bless these relationships and teach me the beauty and power that comes from living as part of part of your Body on this earth!