Essence of community

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Photo Courtesy:  this flickrstream

I really need you.  And you may need me, and her and him and also that guy.  Even those of us who claim we don’t.  Sometimes we don’t know how badly we just need the presence of someone until we spend an evening with one person or a group and realize how good it was for our souls.  It’s really amazing to see how God provides the things we need even when we might not know we need them.

Friends can come and go and it’s interesting to see a need for them in moments of crisis or moments of rejoicing.  The timing of our lives and our interactions are really cool.  Piecing together our past and how we arrive at today is a testament to the providence of God.  God created us with both a need for community as well as the opportunity to fulfill that need.  In fact, He creates us with needs and then also avenues for the fulfillment of those.  The crazy thing is when we start doing it our own way, it all starts to get a little wonky.  But here are some things that I’ve learned about that sense of community (even if it’s a small community) and how badly we need it.

  1. You don’t grow as much without community.  Being in a church or family where you are challenged or deal with frustrating people, you learn how to grow patience and produce fruit and be challenged to be better.  You also learn what you are capable of when you are called to rise to certain challenges.  You also don’t learn what it’s like together when always alone.  It’s easy to win alone when you are committed, but succeeding as a unit can be really helpful in teaching you how to compromise, how to communicate effectively and how to deal with conflict.
  2. Without community, you can become focused on the idea of being a self-made man.  If you think it is only because of yourself that you have succeeded at anything, then you are sadly warped.  Any talent, any gifts, any blessings first have come from God but in conjunction with that, there have been countless others along the way who have mentored you and fostered who you have become for good or bad.  Over time, the I did it my way mentality just begins to isolate the person with it and those around him or her.  Because who really wants to be friends with selfish people?
  3. Community gives a sense of belonging.  Like in a family, we come to find belonging and placement through our roles, so we find this acceptance and placement in our communities.  We become leaders or behind the scenes workers or various other parts of a whole.  When we utilize our talents and find areas where we are able to excel for the greater good, we are more fulfilled and find a healthy sense of self.

May you positively impact those in your spheres of influence this week.

~lme

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