Today is the last day of our vacation and my bones are aching to rest in their own bed. I feel like I’ve been fueled up, even topped off, with many good things — from solid biblical teaching to amazing sunsets, from solitary walks on an inexplicably empty beach to celebrating my son’s birthday with a festive throng. But the best thing about this vacation has been the people. In the last two weeks I’ve spent time with some of my very favorites — my mom, my cousin Cassie, my sister and her husband, my niece Caitlin, my friend Melissa, my beach buddies Kelly and Pearl — it’s been a social extravaganza and more needful than most years. I’ve met so many wonderful people in Tennessee, but deep, abiding friendships do not happen overnight.
Not long ago a friend from Virginia sent me this link, which is a sermon on friendship by Tim Keller. It’s fabulous and in it Keller says, “It’s your community that shapes you.” It’s such a simple statement but truly profound at the same time. In large part, you are who you are because of your community. Grapple with that for a minute. Is your community edifying? Adequately challenging? Does your community continually point you to Christ and the truth of His Word? Does your community encourage you to do ALL things well for His glory?
I hope you have some incredible friends who faithfully spur you on. I do, but most of them live hundreds of miles away. This morning I sent a vital email about joining a small group at church. I know this is what Will and I need. I am praying that God will provide the perfect group for us to join.
As summer draws to a close, is there something you need to do to ensure that the community that shapes you is the right one?
“And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.”
Hebrews 10:24-25 NIV
Thanks for reading and may God bless you and yours with loving, kingdom-minded communities.