Did you know that we were built to be in community? Even inside the most introverted, independent person, there is a desire to be in community and to be known. Yet, we live in the day of loneliness. Many people suffer from chronic loneliness. Some tests even show that loneliness can lead to disease and could eventually kill you. So where does this desire for community come from and how do we fight loneliness in a day where independence is celebrated and community lies forgotten?
Selfishness and power struggles entered the picture, making community an even harder gift to fight for.
The desire for community stems from the very beginning of creation. When Adam was the only living soul on earth, God saw that is was NOT good for him to be alone. So God created Eve, a partner and helper for him, to provide the necessary community. The two were not only in community with each other, but with God as well. (Genesis 2:18) But something happened to break this community and relationship. Mankind decided to choose their own way. In Genesis 3, Adam and Eve decide to disobey God and break relationship with him and each other. Selfishness and power struggles entered the picture, making community an even harder gift to fight for.
In our day and age, social networking has the ability to kill genuine community. This is ironic because you most likely found this blog through this social media platform. People have forgotten how to have real, meaningful conversations. People have given up the need for community and face-to-face conversation for double taps, swipe rights, emojis and ten second connections. But underneath it all, there is still that need and desire for REAL community. That desire to really be seen and known.
Slowly Diminish the Need for Social Media
There are a few simple ways that you can fight loneliness and invest in real community. One way to do this is to slowly diminish the need for social media. Once you realize how much more meaningful real life interactions are instead of the likes and comments on a frozen picture, you can start to invest in the longer lasting things. Still, social media isn’t the problem. The problem is how we are allowing ourselves to become enslaved to online interactions and the constant stream of notifications. I think we need to put down the iphones and start looking into the eyes of the people around us, which leads to the next thing we can do to fight loneliness.
Intentionally Pursue Genuine Relationship
I think we need to relearn the art of true conversation.
A second way to fight loneliness is to intentionally pursue genuine relationship. Yes, it takes lots more energy to actually talk to people instead of to sit in front of a computer or on a phone and type conversations, but the hard way is often the more meaningful way. When you open up to people in real and genuine ways, you start to feel known and seen; and that changes everything! When you are truly known by another human being, you no longer feel alone. I think we need to relearn the art of true conversation. We need to learn how to hold a conversation about real things instead of just replying to people with the easy things, such as “I’m fine” or simple one word answers. Real friendship is built on honesty and vulnerability, and of course lots and lots of laughter.
Establish a Deep Relationship with our Creator
Lastly, I think we need to establish a deep relationship with our Creator. To return to the peace and joy of the original creation, we need to fight for community with others and also with God. Before we can love others, we need to experience the real love of God which is best displayed through the death of Christ on the Cross. Once we experience this real love and learn more about our identity in Him, it becomes easier to love others and pursue relationship. When you are living out of a servant heart that wants to love and serve others, it becomes a lot harder to isolate yourself and feel lonely.
How inspiring would it be to be a part of a generation who are committed to truly loving and seeing the people around us? To be a part of a generation who cares more about people than the number of likes and followers we have on instagram? To be a part of a generation who loves God and spreads His love to the world? To be a part of a generation who truly fight for community?
What role are you going to play?