Community - Discipleship 172
I've written about and spoken on this subject matter on a number of different occasions. Today, I want to share a different slant on community. I'm going to be transparent, sharing the fears that I battle in my own personal pursuit of community.
1. I believe the lie of isolation. In some way, shape or form, I believe that lie that suggests I'm better off on my own. Independence is a great thing...but being too independent only leads to loneliness and despair. Codependence, on the other hand, recognizes that need for a communal approach to life. But again, too great an emphasis on codependence results in an unbalanced and unhealthy approach to life. There needs to be a balance between our individual pursuit of independence and our communal pursuit of codependence. No one can truly live in complete isolation from others.
2. I value experience over people. There are times when I simply do not make time for connecting with others because I'm too focused on consuming an experience. Sometimes this experience is something new, but other times it is something all to familiar. In these moments, I believe the experience will satisfy my desires more than a connection with a community of people.
3. What if they don't like me? There are times when I'm so worried about what something might think of me that I refrain from pursuing some form of community with them. I wonder if I will be accepted, mocked or ridiculed. If I put myself out there and people don't respond positively, what does that say about who I really am?
These three named fears are fears that I believe each of us wrestles with in our pursuit of community. The question we must ask ourselves when we come face to face with our fears is if the fear is really worth it? I can tell you from experience that there are many different people (my wife included) that I would never have experienced community with if I didn't face my fear and risk something for the reward of relational connection.
Each of us longs to belong to something, but community isn't something we can find, it's something we need to create. The questions of fear paralyze our ability to create connections, and without connections, community is impossible. Face your fear, take the risk and create community.
What do you think?