Recently, God has spoken to me about why community is important. It is easy to get caught up in the speed of life and keep to yourself. I have a full-time job, wife, two kids, blog and podcast. With all the responsibilities that come with those, it can fill my schedule. Sometimes it feels like I don’t have time for much else.
The other day, I was talking to a friends, who is a counselor, and he sees a lot of people who are dealing with anxiety and depression. He told me that one of the biggest reasons that people are dealing with these things is that they don’t have people they can trust in their lives. They don’t have a community that they feel like supports them.
Then there is the blessing and curse of social media. One the surface it seems like I am connected to so many people in a way that wasn’t possible 10 years ago. Unfortunately, it is just a surface connection. There isn’t any depth to it. In a society that is more connected than ever before, our communities can be more disconnected than ever.
“While every individual needs to obey Jesus’s call to follow, we cannot follow Jesus as individuals.”Francis Chan, Multiply
The truth is that God didn’t design us to tackle this life alone. Our decision to follow Jesus is ours alone to make, but the life He calls us to live is full of community. Jesus sent the disciples out in pairs. God’s commands for us typically involve other people. We are called to love other, forgive others, pray for others, encourage others, and so on. We can’t do this as individuals.
“It it impossible to “one another” yourself. It’s impossible to follow Jesus alone.”Francis Chan, Multiply
I have to admit I am really bad at this. It is not my first thought to pick up the phone and call someone. It is not my first thought to see if I can grab lunch or coffee with someone. And I’ve been suffering because of it. Not only am I missing the chance to pour into others, but I am missing the chance for someone to pour into me.
This week as I was praying for people, God stopped me and asked me what I was praying about. I was praying for people in a general sense. I was praying that God would bless them, and praying for the things I thought were going on in their lives. God stopped me and asked, “Why don’t you just ask them what they need prayer for?” I was so convicted in that moment. Even in trying to think of others, I was being selfish. I was individually trying to create some sense of community.
God didn’t call me to follow Him by myself. He created me to live in community with those around me. Only then can I really fulfill His purpose for me. I’ve got to do better about doing my part and living in the “one another’s.”
until next time…