Let’s take a moment to be real. Life is hard. In fact, you may be struggling right now just navigating through a difficult season. And oftentimes, our natural, human instinct is to try to go at it alone, thinking that our problems are too small for others to concern themselves with or the proverbial “I can do it myself” mentality. But, can I share something with you? God never meant for us to be alone, in fact, He created us for fellowship and community.

I can think of many times within my own life when I have desperately needed someone in my life, and thankfully, I have had great people by my side. I’ve had tragedies and difficulties that have come my way and I thank God that He has blessed me with a wife who has loved me enough to challenge me and support me through difficult times. I’ve had family who have surrounded me and friends who stood by me. The point is, God created us with the need for community.

Scripture is jam packed with the importance of community. There is so much that could be said. But let’s go to the beginning for just a second. In Genesis, we see that it was never God’s intention for us to be alone from the beginning. In fact, Genesis reads, “The Lord God said, ‘It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.’”. He knew that we would need other people and especially those we could call family and friends. Within the New Testament, Hebrews 10:24-25 reminds us, “And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another…”

We Americans can tend to be isolationists or individualists, but God has so much more for us in the form of community. Just in community, we can be challenged, encouraged, stirred up, edified, and loved. Community is a gift; it is a way that we can connect with other people in

meaningful, life-changing ways. Simply put, we are better together! Do you ever wonder what the benefits for community are? Well three significant, life-changing benefits from being in community include: accountability, edification, and encouragement. Each one has an importance for your life.

Community provides us with accountability. Many of us find it difficult to do things on our own. For example, when someone wishes to exercise daily or eat right, it is often easier to be successful when one has an accountability partner. You push each other to get up early, to eat the right things, to avoid the sweets, or to keep it going. The same can be said for your spiritual walk. Community provides accountability that will strengthen and help your daily prayer life, your studying of God’s word, or even help you on your journey to living a holy life. Community brings at least two people alongside each other in the pursuit of a better life that is more pleasing to God.

Secondly, community provides us with edification. Edification is defined as “The instruction or improvement of a person morally or intellectually”. I can’t even imagine my life without the edification that my wife brings me. Community can help you grow in your spiritual walk by providing you with someone who can bring instruction or improvement, or even discipline, to your walk. 1 Thessalonians 5:11 reinforces this sentiment, “Therefore encourage one another and build each other up…” We are to build one another up so that we stay on the path of righteousness and stay spiritually connected.

Finally, community provides us with encouragement. We all make mistakes and we all have difficult times that we go through. Community enables us to never be truly alone. Good friends and family can make the difficult times easier by surrounding you with encouragement. Ecclesiastes 4:9-10 reads, “Two are better than one because they have a good return for their labor: if either of them falls down, one can help the other up”. You see, community provides us with those who can walk alongside us and encourage us when we do happen to make mistakes or fail to stay spiritually connected or when life is just hard.

In short, there are so many benefits to community! We are better together and we do not have to go at it alone. Wherever you are in your spiritual walk, know that community can provide you with the accountability, the edification, or the encouragement to help you on your walk with God and to live a more happy and spiritually healthy life! You don’t have to go at it alone, God has placed strategic people in your life on purpose. Stay connected with those who encourage you, support you, push you, and challenge you in your walk with God and in your life and you’ll see that we are truly better together.

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