I am a big fan of community. I often talk about how relationships are the only thing we get to take with us we leave here. Here’s the thing though: Community can be scary. It’s a vulnerable thing to let people into our lives and see us for who we really are.
Today I want to talk about the true foundation of community. In order to build authentic lasting connection with others, we first need to know and understand how truly loved by God we are. When we have the understanding that God loves us completely, it removes the need for outside validation. When we live from hearts that know they are fully loved, we are not looking for unhealthy ways to fill that void.
When we receive our validation from God, we are able to completely remove the fear of rejection. How many of us do things because we think that’s what other people want us to do? Hello – anyone reading this go through middle school?! It might not look the same as middle school, but its the same story. It happens from the moment we wake up and look through our closets for something to wear, to walking into our kitchens and deciding what we’re having for breakfast (because, yes, many of us allow even our diets to be dictated by what’s popular), and it only continues from there throughout our packed daily lives. What would your life look like if you completely let go of the fear of rejection?
When we receive our validation from God, we are able to completely remove the fear of rejection.
Being vulnerable is something very important that we need to learn. It doesn’t come easy, and it is often something we are forced to learn while going through a difficult time, when we are left with no choice but to accept the help of others. When we aren’t consumed with what people think about us, it allows us to open up and let people in without fear. I know at Five Things I talk a lot about how culture tells us daily that “You should want to have it all, be it all and do it all,” but that leaves us with a lot of one-sided relationships. We want to be the ones helping others but forget that we also need to let them help us, and shut people down who genuinely want to bless us.
I have had several opportunities to share these thoughts in church, but today I got to practice what I preach. Last night four out of my five kids woke up with some kind of need at different times throughout the hours I generally prefer to sleep. That is pretty rare these days as we have grown out of the baby stage. I had already lined up a play-date with a dear friend, and although I was so tired, I decided not to cancel. Talk about a mess! Since most of my kids had been up for a good chunk of the night, I’ll let you guess how fun they were to be around. Throw four more kids into the mix and it was a messy, rough, and crazy morning. One of the highlights of the day was breaking up a yogurt fight between the kids, because why eat tubes of yogurt when they’re perfectly engineered for slinging the stuff at each other? You know what though? My friend still loved me in my mess. I could have canceled (and maybe I should have), but it was an opportunity to let someone love me and my family when we were not at our best, and that is actually an amazing feeling.
I want to encourage you guys today. Let God love you fully, so that you can let go of your fear of rejection, and build authentic community starting with vulnerability.