Community is real, and everywhere. Bell Hooks, in her book All About Love, makes a point that most babies are born in community — medical personnel, onlookers, family, and maybe more. We grow and choose community. Sometimes, I am willing to say, community chooses us.
The idea of community is in the mind of the beholder. The choice to settle there, though, still remains.
Depending on our varied paths to community, our approach can go either way. We may jump in with both feet and figure out the rest. Or, we may inch our way hesitantly with careful observation before we commit. But commitment is necessary to receive from community.
Proverbs 18:24 — A man of many companions may come to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother. (ESV)
Matthew 18:15 — If your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault, between you and him alone. If he listens to you, you have gained your brother. (ESV)
Proverbs 20:6 — Many a man proclaims his own steadfast love, but a faithful man who can find? (ESV)
Proverbs 27:17 — Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another. (ESV)
Are you committed to community? I enter into community assessing my willingness to commit, to be loyal, to stick and stay when I disagree. I consider whether I will grow through the challenges of the community, not just mentally, but in character and perspective.
I appeal to the renegades, the cynics, the angry, and the isolated. Please, give community a try. And, give community another try. A unified body… not robots, not cookie cutter culture, but community. Build on the common points and risk enough vulnerability to be challenged into a broader view of self and others. A social state or condition… cannot be attained when we keep running from accountability, healthy acceptance, proper valuation, and transformation. Society at large... there is a place for us all, and there is room for us all. Even with a calling from God that requires solitude, processes that feel like exile and isolation, there are seasons allowed in community.
Commit, folks. Have a seat in community and take a deep breath of relief. Try it out. Take a chance and let people love you, see you, speak into you. Yes, it can go bad… but don’t focus on that. Pray. See whether Holy Spirit is opening a door of opportunity. I’d like to know how it goes — whether you try, or not. Selah and love to all.
Dr. Shaunta Scroggins is the founder of The Bereans’ Commentary.
Studying the Bible for love and with integrity.
Educator - Advocate - Writer
"In the darkness of night, I wait expectantly for understanding and knowledge for your people."