By Cleere Cherry
You know the scene in every 90’s middle school physical education class, where there is that one person whom is deemed “last pick”? It’s hard to even watch, and, needless to say, it is no confidence booster to be in those shoes.
After thinking about that scene more and more, I am convinced that we all feel like an LP (last pick – our acronym for today) at some point in our lives.
Maybe we are not physically left standing alone with the “in-crowd” staring back at us. In fact, maybe it is such a deep feeling of isolation and loneliness that others are not even aware we are going through it. We are ashamed. We are fearful that others will think differently of us if they find out. Maybe they will actually live up to that “popular crowd” stereotype and point their fingers and laugh. We feel alone in our loneliness, pushing our “me” island farther away from the mainland.
Can I tell you something?
This is EXACTLY what Satan wants.
Any form of prohibiting progress in our lives is like a check on Satan’s to-do list. “Cleere drifted further? Perfect! Don’t let her know people care or that people are searching for her on the mainland.”
You see, isolation is a tricky feeling. It makes you feel alone and feel the need to seclude yourself out of a fear of not relating to others. However, when we are feeling alone, isolated, uncertain, or self-conscious, THAT is when community is absolutely, beyond a shadow of a doubt, necessary.
Benefits of Community
Biblical community allows us to do several things:
It helps us see our situation, circumstances, and overall life from a different perspective.
It aids us in pushing ourselves to get out of our “me-conscious” phase and focus more on being “God-conscious,” with the help of accountability and reminders of His promises for our lives.
It helps us push our boats towards the mainland, where we will realize that we were never actually alone. We have friends and family who desire to HELP us, not judge us.
It allows light to begin to permeate through our darkness. We can then see that even in the deep oceans we were traveling through, Jesus was there. He never leaves us nor forsakes us; therefore we are never alone.
It allows love to chip away at our fear, so we can face the situations or circumstances that before left us feeling isolated. Our actions are bold because we know that through Jesus, we are victorious.
Drop Your Anchor
The best part is, when we are IN community and we start rowing our boat out to our “isolation island,” our community jumps in the boat and keeps us anchored to the mainland.
The purpose of community is never judgment or condemnation, but rather a deep promise to follow Jesus together, hand-in-hand. I know in my own personal life, when I jump in my boat and start feeling self-conscious, unworthy, and insecure, my community reminds me that I am loved, sacred, and absolutely treasured by the King of Kings. We feast on God’s Word together, and I am reminded that my feelings of insecurity should never be accepted as truth when my heavenly Father has already written a whole love story to me proclaiming otherwise.
My friends, my community—it is through them that Jesus shows me I am worthy of being invested in and loved.
I highly encourage you to get involved in community of some type. Join a community that seeks to love Jesus with their actions and serve others—a community that holds you accountable to your Savior’s truth and reminds you that “isolation island” is simply not an option.
A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another. – John 13:34-35
Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves. – Romans 12:9-10