So let’s do it—full of belief, confident that we’re presentable inside and out. Let’s keep a firm grip on the promises that keep us going. He always keeps his word. Let’s see how inventive we can be in encouraging love and helping out, not avoiding worshiping together as some do but spurring each other on, especially as we see the big Day approaching. (Hebrews 10:22-25 MSG)
Community can be so tricky because it’s wounded us in the past. Maybe you’ve been betrayed by someone you trusted. Maybe you were abandoned when you needed support the very most, or felt judged for being too messy. Or maybe the group you wanted to join didn’t let you in, and their rejection hit you right in the heart.
So in your hurt, you’ve stepped out of community because it feels safer that way. Rather than risk another tangling situation, you’ve built a wall around your heart with a big “keep out” sign on it. And when invitations and opportunities to connect arise, you giggle to yourself and say… not a chance.
Gosh, it’s so hard to put yourself out there again.
But the Bible is a big advocate for community, because God knows the power of being on the receiving end of an encouraging friend. He knows how others can help us stand strong when we’re struggling. God knows that deep down, our heart’s cry is to be seen and known and loved… and He designed community to help meet those needs in profound ways.
The Enemy also knows the life-changing power of togetherness, so he does all he can to make you live an offended life. And living that way keeps you isolated. Alone. Bitter. And angry.
Have you ever considered that while community may have hurt you the most… it’s exactly what God will use to heal you the best?
Think about it.
Maybe it’s time to give it another try.