This past Sunday at South Bay Church I had a great conversation with a first-time guest. He started by sharing how much he enjoyed the service and was impacted by his entire experience that morning. I just stood there listening as he began to open up and share why he decided to come that day. After all, it was a Yelp search that directed him to South Bay and he was looking for help.
This man was led to Christ several years ago by another local pastor who discipled him and trained him in ministry. He traveled globally with this pastor and found great fulfillment and joy in serving Jesus.
But two years ago his pastor/friend died of an illness.
And he hasn’t been the same since.
Over the last couple years he lost his community of friends and support. Now he is struggling to find where he belongs.
One thing he said has stuck with me and I can’t stop thinking about it. He said, “You know, I read my Bible an hour a day, I pray an hour a day, but I’m so lonely…it’s just me, my dog, and my company.”
Here is a guy with a genuine relationship with God, but is empty and alone because he isn’t sharing life with others. I don’t know if that hits you, but it hit me so hard.
As Christians, we believe Jesus is our source of life and our Savior, but He didn’t intend for us to be exclusive. He designed us to be in relationship not only with Himself, but others too.
When we get hurt or go through relational difficulty we tend to drift into a mindset that believes “all I need is Jesus” and put others at arms-length refusing to allow others close.
I know this because I’ve done this; I’ve believed this. I’ve spent the past few months wrestling through this very issue. Getting to the point of saying, “I need people” has proven very difficult for me.
But I do. You do.
We were created for relationships.
And while sin and brokenness makes relationships messy and difficult, it’s so essential for our growth and our health- not only emotionally, but physically too.
God created us to be in community with others- to share life together.
Who are you sharing life with?
Who are you pushing away for fear of getting hurt?
If you’ve been hurt or suffered loss (whether through death or broken relationship), making yourself vulnerable is challenging. Here are a few resources that can help you know how to start again.
Boundaries: When to Say Yes, How to Say No to Take Control of Your Life by Cloud & Townsend
Safe People: How to Find Relationships That Are Good for You and Avoid Those That Aren’t by Cloud & Townsend
Don’t give up. Take steps to learn how to need people again. You won’t be who you are created to be without others in your life.