We are built for community. We long to be known by someone. Many of us are lucky if we have one great friend. I told my old students that in middle school it’s all about quantity of friends. As we get older I’ve learned that shifts into quality of friendships. Relationships scare us. People are messy. The potential for being hurt is exponentially heightened when we involve other people.
We need people though. People allow us to grow into better versions of ourselves. Our fullest potential of life, I believe, is only reached when we are in community. As we read in the book of Genesis, from the beginning it was not good for man to be alone. Many people can take this as the need for a spouse, yet, I think there was more intended. We, simply, are not meant to do life by ourselves.
Yet there is tension in relationships. We have different styles, tastes, different ways to load the dishwasher and ways to fold towels. I have grown a lot the past few years by simply living with other young men. Learning how lazy we can get, what are our own specific boundaries are, and how to handle conflict. It was always easy to just get physical when I was younger, now it takes more tact. The ability to communicate your thoughts, feelings, even your schedule helps ease tension. You learn what sets you off (like past due utility bills) or what helps another person calm down.
I can count on other people to support me in times of need. Whether it is moving for the 4th time in 3 years or going through a bad break up, people are there. At 3 in the afternoon or 3 in the morning I know that I will not be bothering people if I call. Some times it’s simply a quick check in or long deep conversations about life. Some days I just want to throw in the towel, yet having people in my corner help me to push on.
I see God better through other people. I can get stuck in my own rut, questioning whether I am good enough, why I struggle with sin, why I can’t get it all right. My self-doubts become my own enemy. I can see others and watch how they walk with God. I can press it Jesus with someone else who struggles are similar. I have the ability to better feel Gods grace tangibly and to offer that same grace I have received when in relationships with people. To be accepted, loved, for who I am, despite by junk by another person. Then to reciprocate that back to an individual. Its how people are meant to live. No strings attached.
I hope as you read this you were thinking about some of your relationships. How can you make them better? How can you offer grace too? People are worth it. You’re worth it.