I want to talk about community for a moment. Specifically, I want to talk about what Christ-centered community looks like.
This is an area in my life where I have become SO passionate about. I feel like I was very blind in this area and I didn’t realize the importance. I am here to tell you that if you are a believer, Godly community is ESSENTIAL to your walk with Jesus.
So, what does the bible say about this? Let’s look at Genesis 2:18… God says “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.” Now, you could take this into the context of relationships/ marriage, BUT it also points to community and our relationships with one another. In the beginning, God points to the importance of community. He says, “it is not good for man to be alone.” Which leads me to ask YOU, are you alone? Do you think you are good on your own without anyone close walking through life with you? OR do you have a community of people who you know if anything goes sideways you can pick up the phone and call? I’m telling you, walking through life with your people is just better (I know this from my own personal life). God wants this for YOU. He wants you to have those people who love Him and push you closer to Him.
To get personal, I was praying for a long time for friends who loved the Lord, for friends who were on “my page”, and people who I can do life with. I had friends during this time, but I knew something wasn’t right in my heart when I got honest with myself. I began to pray. It wasn’t until last November that the Lord opened the door for me to join a disciple group and these women have all become so close to my heart and because God is SO GOOD He has brought more and more people in my life. I have mentors, leaders, friends, and most importantly brothers and sisters in Christ.
I asked on my instagram page [ @thebeautiful.brave ] for people to send in questions in regards to Christ-centered friendships. I wanted to address these three.
Q #1. This is not exactly black and white. I believe your core, inner circle group/ community should be believers, if you are a believer (this is just my opinion). If all of your friends and people in your life are believers, that is amazing, but then are you making disciples/ spreading the gospel to ALL peoples? We are called to spread the gospel to all people, all nations. This is the great commission. How I see it, as a believer, I am called to make disciples. Therefore, I should have people in my life who may not believe what I believe so that I may be an influence and witness to Christ.
Q #2. You LOVE them. You LOVE those the best you can even if they don’t believe what you believe. You continue to demonstrate the grace that Jesus shows you daily to them. You can still love someone and have space. You don’t necessarily need to say “never talk to me again if you don’t believe in Jesus” rather, set some boundaries. If you have party friends who constantly go out and you want to stop that, then set those boundaries. If you have people who influence you to be someone without morals, then set those boundaries and draw a line. There is a way to set boundaries that are healthy for you and the person/peoples involved.
Q #3. Again, this one is not black and white. I don’t want to put out there that you should completely cut off friends or people in your life if they are not on the same path as you in regards to following Christ. But here is my thought, sometimes it takes just saying “no, but I appreciate the offer.” It is an opportunity to explain why you may want to distance yourself… it is an opportunity to share the gospel. If they are close enough to you or if they are truly your friend, they will understand your reasons behind taking a step back. Having boundaries is biblical, especially in friendships. REMEMBER : YOU CAN STILL LOVE SOMEONE FROM A DISTANCE.
My encouragement to you is to get in community. If you are a believer, community is necessary for us to grow and deepen in our faith walk. Don’t you want people who love the Lord leading and guiding you? It takes boldness stepping out to find community, but God is the source of strength and courage. Ask him for the strength and courage to do this… He will answer because He wants you to be surrounded by His children.