Over the past few months, I have been drawn in my reading and prayer times to thoughts about community. In particular, why is community important? Let’s face it, in this age of electric garage door openers, we don’t have to see anybody in our neighborhood for days on end. Add this convenience to the plethora of entertainment venues available from our couch like Playstations, Cable/Satellite TV, and the computer, and we don’t need to go anywhere except to work and the grocery store. As a result, our culture has become a society of individuals.
Okay, now you are probably saying, “so what?” What is the big deal?
BIG DEAL #1. God created us in God’s image. In particular, we have been given the ability to love. A love that expresses God’s character cannot happen if we are not in contact with other people. Therefore, if we are not investing ourselves in other people by sharing our lives with them then we are dishonoring God’s image in our own lives.
BIG DEAL #2. We were designed to be in community. Eve, we are told in Genesis 2:18-19, was created in order to provide Adam a companion, partner, and helper. God realized early on that humanity would not live to its fullest without friendship.
BIG DEAL #3. Community brings accountability. When we live in communion with others, we naturally call each other to a higher standard / expectation of living. How many of you have run a red light when no one was around? Sure you haven’t! But let’s pretend for a moment. Would you have done it if there was another car directly behind you? Probably not. This proves my point, when others are around, we naturally raise our expectations.
If you are out of community, the sense of loneliness you feel is God’s way of drawing you to get involved. God knows your inner need to express love and friendship and so God will not let you rest until this is satisfied. God also knows that we all need other people to hold us accountable in order for us to live to our fullest potential.