God never meant for people to be alone.
Sometimes we are tempted to think that life would be easier if we didn’t have to deal with other people. We would be in control. We would only have to think of ourselves. We would get all the glory for successes. There would be no drama. No hurt feelings. No broken hearts. Ultimate peace.
Living this for really would be devastating; in fact, we would not survive it. Eventually loneliness would win the day. Think of Tom Hanks in the movie Castaway. He eventually was talking to a volleyball and was willing to gamble his life on a raft to return to people.
So many things in life require community. Have you realized that it would be impossible to have fun alone? Celebrating would cease to exist. You would be limited to only what you could accomplish. Intellectual growth wouldn’t happen because there would be no one to challenge the ideas you hold. Love cannot happen alone.
Kingdom work happens best in community as well. Here are some advantages of doing things together.
Synergy: Working with someone makes us more efficient. It is a proven fact that two people can accomplish more together than two people separately.
Support: Living life in community allows us to walk through difficult times in a healthier way. We have people around us to help shoulder the burden. If we fall, someone is there to pick us up. There is a reason that you should never hike, or swim, or an abundance of other things, alone.
Laughter: Experiencing happiness is a community emotion. Even when we are laughing alone, we are normally laughing about something that happened in community.
Character: The development of one’s character only makes sense in community. If we think about the gifts of the Spirit, a good measure for one’s character – love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control – all of them require relationship.
Accountability: Often we think of accountability in a somewhat negative way, but accountability keeps us from making foolish mistakes. Accountability helps us to be efficient with our resources.
Wherever God is leading you in work for the kingdom, make it a priority to get involved in that work within the context of community. This is even more important if that involvement takes you to a different culture. Living in another culture often takes away most of the supportive structures around us and developing community in those situations will allow us to push through the difficulties and be effective; it will allow us to thrive.
Life is better lived together.