09
Mar
10

called to belong

“You are called to belong, not just believe.” I read that recently in a devotion by Rick Warren. The implications of it struck me immediately.

First, just as the Trinity exists in community, you and I were created to do the same. God said way back in the Garden of Eden, “It is not good for man to be alone.” This is countercultural to the American way of life. We celebrate individuality to the extreme extent that one of our favorite cultural icons is the American cowboy riding off into the sunset by himself. However, the truth is, we need others. As one philosopher noted, “No one is an island to themselves.”

Then there is the responsibility that goes along with belonging. If we do not add value to the community of which we are a part, then we are nothing more than a parasite drawing nourishment and sustenance from the host entity. We suck out life giving resources without ever replenishing those resources with our own talents, time or finances, so that others can draw on the resources of the community in their time of need. Being part of a community, especially a Christian fellowship, means having others we can lean on in our times of need, as evidenced by Paul teaching to bear the burdens of those who are weak.

Another implication is the responsibility we have to be “for each other”. Isn’t it interesting when our child gets into trouble they were just hanging out with the “wrong crowd”; when it’s someone else’s child, they are a juvenile delinquent! The Bible is clear that when we tear other believers down we are grieving the Holy Spirit.

The last thing I thought of while reading Rick’s devotion was the responsibility of shared vision. The writer of Proverbs is clear, “where there is no vision the people cast off restraint.” Thankfully, I learned early in my life that if I did not buy into and support the vision of the leadership covering God had placed over me, I was frustrated, unfruitful and bitter.

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