It wasn't the head knowledge that hit me this week though. It was one of his three points. Within the message, Chuck brought up three aspects of why humans were created:
We are created to BE (find our identity in God alone)
We are created to BELONG (live in relationship to God and one another)
We are created to DO (find purpose for our lives in God)
It was this middle point that struck me. It was this middle point that pained me, and it was this middle point that I cannot stop thinking about.
I have struggled all my life with feeling like I don't belong. I understand what it means to find my identity in Christ, and I work diligently to shape my view of self as being His. I also have a very good understanding of purpose, and it could be said that calling people to purposeful lives in Christ is my passion. But belonging, living in relationship, is something I have wrestled with and never found traction.
Acts 2:42 tells us that the early believers were devoted to the fellowship (alongside things such as apostolic teaching, communion, and prayer). Fellowship! This is a pretty big arrow telling us the truth: DON'T NEGLECT FELLOWSHIP!
But what in the world does that look like? What does it look like when you have spent your life feeling like you are always just outside of the group? What does it look like when you have felt unable to build strong trustworthy friendships to feel called to devote yourself to fellowship?
I read the Bible picture of fellowship, read things about being united in spirit, having the same love, doing nothing out of selfish ambition, and I want it. I want friends that I can trust and pray together and share the darkest part of my soul. I want brothers and sisters who will love me in that and call me out of that. I want that so much.
Fear, though, drives me away. Fear drives me to keep my heart on guard. Fear tells me I will get burned. And so I avoid the deep well of God's goodness, out of fear.
Lord, break down the walls of fear and pride in my life. Allow me to open myself up to the friendships that you intend for all humans. Give me the willingness to be hurt so that true Christian community will be built. In your Son's power and authority I pray. Amen