United in Purpose: How Living in Community Shapes Our Faith

In today’s digital age, our social media feeds are often flooded with catchy phrases about life’s philosophies. You might have seen, “Your vibe attracts your tribe” or “Life is better in the community”. Although they may sound like the lines from a clichéd movie, there is undeniable wisdom hidden within them.

As someone who cherishes her moments of solitude (as any extrovert occasionally does), I’ve often wondered about the true essence of community. After all, isn’t peace found in solitude, away from the prying eyes of society? This was my thought until I realized the dangerous spiral of isolation. As comfortable as that lonely island may seem, true growth, understanding, and support come from being part of a larger community.

I, too, once hesitated at the idea of opening up to a larger group. Past betrayals had made me wary, making me believe that my small world, with just my husband and kids, was enough. But life has a way of showing us the paths we need to tread. Here’s what I’ve learned about the transformative power of community:

  1. Guidance from Those Who Truly Care: Your community isn’t just a random assembly. It’s a carefully curated group of individuals united by shared values and mutual love. This bond brings forth advice – some sweet and some bitter, but always for your betterment. It’s this very community that will steer you when you’re veering off your path and celebrate with you during your victories.
  2. A Trustworthy Confidante: When life’s tempests hit – a disagreement with a spouse, for instance – we all need a safe harbor. True communities offer a haven for candid conversations, away from the harshness of judgment and gossip. They are there to pray with you, stand by you in trials, and protect your vulnerabilities.
  3. Your Personal Cheer Squad: Think of life as a game. How would it feel to score a goal and not have anyone cheer for you? The value of a supportive community is incalculable. They are there to celebrate your successes, lift you up during losses, and always have your back.
  4. You Are Essential: Community isn’t just about what you get; it’s also about what you give. By avoiding community life, you deprive others of your unique experiences, insights, and wisdom. Embracing this life means understanding the profound effect you can have on others and on you.

While solitude has its revered place, prolonged isolation can be detrimental. It can lead to feelings of depression, self-doubt, and decisions that deviate from God’s true path. But with the right people around you, you’re fortified against these challenges.

Yes, community life is not always a bed of roses. There will be disagreements, differences of opinion, and days when you just want to be left alone. However, as Proverbs 27:17 says, “As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.” The journey of mutual growth, learning, and understanding is a divine one.

If you’re unsure about stepping into community living, start with a simple prayer: “God, guide me toward the people you want in my life.” This prayer, while straightforward, can lead you toward relationships that enrich, empower, and uplift.

Embracing community might seem daunting and challenging, but the rewards are profound. After all, as believers, we are called to be in fellowship with one another, supporting, guiding, and growing together in faith. So, take the leap. Embrace community. You are worth it, and so is every relationship you nurture.