A Heart for Community
The world makes it seem like we can do everything on our own. We don’t need anyone else in our lives to help us, or to give us advice. “I got this!” is a phrase thrown around a lot. I’m guilty of saying this myself. I always think I can handle all the things, until all of a sudden…I can’t. Why do we think we can, or should, do it all by ourselves? The truth is, we were not meant to do life alone. There’s so many benefits to having a community of people in our lives and creating lasting friendships.
The dictionary defines community as:
A unified body of individuals: such as people with common interests living in a particular area.
Community is so important in our lives. Without community we can often feel lonely and discouraged. If you have people in your life with the same interests as you and who live in the same area, you can learn and be encouraged by them. It gives you a sense of belonging.
Surrounding ourselves with people who can encourage us, and help us love one another well is so helpful. I didn’t grow up with a large community of people. I had a few friends, but it was never anything really substantial. When my husband and I got married we were attending a small church that didn’t have very many people and community seemed almost non-existent. There were many times where I felt lonely or discouraged and just wanted to have people to do life with. People I could learn from and be encouraged by.
Hebrews 10:24-25 says, And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.
The definition of encouragement is- the action of giving someone support, confidence, or hope. I love that. I pray that you all have people in your life that encourage you. Someone who supports you, gives you confidence and gives you hope. As believers we can get all of these things from Christ, but if we don’t have other people around us to support us, it can still be tiring and hard. Having someone offer you hope or give you support in a tough situation can be exactly the encouragement you need to get you through that hard time.
Accountability is another important piece of community, and maybe one we don’t want to entertain as much. The verse says, ‘let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works.’ Having good spiritual people in your life who help you stay accountable in your walk is great. We are all human, we make mistakes, we make bad decisions. But I appreciate the people I have in my life so much, who remind me in difficult situations that maybe I didn’t act or respond in the best way I could have. People who ask me hard questions and get me thinking about what I really should be doing, or who just flat out tell me I’m being dumb. There’s something so comforting about having people in your life who will help you be the best version of yourself.
My husband and I are now a part of a large community. We have so many people in our lives who encourage us and support us. When we were going through our season where we didn’t have community in our lives and many friends, it was difficult. I am an extrovert and thrive on doing things with people, so when we didn’t have people in our lives to do things with it was hard. Maybe you find yourself in a similar situation right now, where you don’t have community, or you just don’t know how to create friendships.
Becoming a part of a thriving community didn’t come without effort. My husband and I made intentional decisions that played a big role in developing friendships with people. We had to invite people over, go to events where we didn’t really know anyone. Create conversation with people even if we didn’t know who they were. It took(and still does) a lot of time and effort. You can’t expect to move to a new town or go to a new church and just all of a sudden have hundreds of friends without putting in any effort.
The Bible talks a lot about believer’s meeting together and people inviting others into their home. We are not meant to walk this life out alone. One of my favorite verses is Acts 2:46 which says, “Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts.” My husband and I have this verse printed on a canvas and hanging in our dining room. I love hosting people in our home. One of the ways we’ve been able to build some of our strongest friendships we have right now was through having people over for dinner. Inviting people into our home and breaking bread together has brought some of our best conversations.
We don’t have to have the perfect home, or best meal to invite someone over. If you’re worried about cooking, just invite them over for coffee. Buy something pre-made at the store. Sometimes I think we can put too much pressure on ourselves to make sure everything in our lives is perfect before we can have people over. My home is much too small to be hosting large groups and somehow we still find a way to fit 20 people in here. If you’re waiting for the perfect season in your life, perfect house, or meal, it will never happen.
You can cultivate friendships and community no matter what season of life you are in. It’s ok if your friendships and community look different than someone else’s, do what works best for you. The important thing is you’re putting yourself out there and allowing other people to be a part of your life.
“Alone we can do so little; together, we can do so much.” – Helen Keller
Hi, I’m Hannah.
I am a lover of Jesus, wife, and mom to 3 kids. Occasionally I like to share things that are on my heart and you’ll find them here. Thanks for taking the time to check out my site!