I’m wrapping up my study of community today. It’s been a bit of a rabbit chase and, if you have stayed with me this far, I commend you 🙂 In part one, we discussed what the definition of community is and read Acts 2:41-47, the first body of believers and how they established their community. In part two, we discussed how internal struggles such as insecurity and jealousy can keep us from experiencing community. And in part three, we took a look at healthy vs. unhealthy community. Today, I’m going to wrap it up and bring it back to how this applies to us individually.
One of the greatest things that I took away from this study was that being in community is a relationship that requires participation – it very literally means sharing. It is not a ‘what’s in it for me’ type of situation. You will receive what you sow into your community. If you sow encouragement, service, love, unity – you will receive encouragement, service, love, and unity. It is designed to work that way. Basically, if you want friends, be a friend. If you want support, be supportive. If you want encouragement, be an encourager. Zig Ziglar said it best “If you can dream it, you can achieve it. You will get all you want in life if you help enough other people get what they want.”
The second greatest thing was that we play a direct role in the health of our community. If we approach community in an unhealthy way, we can actually destroy our community leaving us feeling isolated and alone. Listen, we have an enemy. He loves to lie to you about yourself and others. If he can create insecurity, jealousy, fear, etc in you, then he can keep you from forming relationships with others (the very people that God may be trying to get you to connect to). If he can keep you from relationship, he can keep you from your community of believers. If he can keep you from your community of believers, he can rob you of the power of that community in terms of the support you need to become who you were meant to be. Every single one of us has a purpose. We are all called to accomplish something good and have a serious impact for God’s kingdom within our spheres of influence. 1Peter 2:9-10 says “But you are not like that, for you are a chosen people. You are royal priests, a holy nation, God’s very own possession. As a result, you can show others the goodness of God, for he called you out of the darkness into his wonderful light. “Once you had no identity as a people; now you are God’s people. Once you received no mercy; now you have received God’s mercy.” If we have no support for the God-sized dream in our hearts, the enemy can render us ineffective for God’s kingdom. Again, we are stronger in our faith together. That is not by accident, it is clearly God’s design.
So how does this relate to beauty and this blog project? In a sense, we have created a community here on this site. Each time a woman shares her testimony or thoughts on life’s struggles, it serves as encouragement to the rest of us that read it. We can relate to her. We read her words and are encouraged that (a) she has experienced something we have and (b) if she can overcome, so can we. Her words combat the lies that we may be struggling with. They confront insecurities within us and inspire us to reach beyond our comfort zones to connect with one another. My hope is that this will encourage you to seek community within your church, that you will join forces with another woman and share your dreams with her. Maybe, just maybe, she will be your Aaron and hold your arms up in battle. And you, in turn, can hold up the arms of another.
Founder of WhoIsBeautiful