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Birds flock together and fish shoal. And we too need a place to belong. But while we’re hardwired for this, we must still be intentional about cultivating meaningful communities with each other.

High school is known for its cliques and desperate attempts to fit in. And even when we didn’t care to be Mr. Poplar, we still looked for our people and our place to belong.

This continued as we decided on college majors and pursued our professional careers, and even still as we are drawn to various social, political, and religious affiliations.

We cannot get away from our desire and need to belong.

But unlike birds and fish, we have a choice in who we choose to associate with. And when we’re not careful our connections can lead us away from God’s best.

For instance, the fear of not belonging leads many to simply adopt whatever is popular. And, to be fair, it does give us a sense of safety when we’re doing what everyone else is doing as well.

But popularity doesn’t always mean good. In fact, Christ reminds us the path to life is narrow and difficult and decidedly unpopular.

And another danger of our desperate need to fit in is the seductive power of groupthink. Here we give up our unique perspectives and way of being simply to conform to the group’s expectations. Thinking for ourselves is too risky when our membership within the group is on the line. 

To be sure, our souls will not rest until we find our people. And while this will challenge us in many ways, the cost of belonging is not worth giving up God’s call for our life personally.

True belonging comes through faithfully discovering and holding on to who God has created us to be.

It’s here we’re known and accepted for our true selves, rather than the shallow connections that come through our various masks and fig leaves.

Seek the belonging your soul longs for. But don’t settle for associating with just anyone. Find those who are also moving toward God’s best and can walk with you personally.

Photo by Jeremy Bishop on Unsplash

Dr. Corey Carlisle

Licensed marriage and family therapist and certified sex therapist - providing Christian counseling and soul care to individuals and couples, with a special emphasis on developing the masculine soul. Suwanee, GA 30024

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