We all want to find our place to belong. But sometimes we lose ourselves in our desperate efforts to fit in. While courageously stepping outside of our comfort zone, we must remain true to how God has crafted us.
To be sure, building community requires us to stretch ourselves in order to connect with others. And sometimes this requires us to do things we would not consider doing otherwise.
And this peer pressure to conform is particularly high when we’re an outsider or very eager for the relationship to succeed.
The positive side of this pressure is that it often challenges us and allows us to discover new parts of ourselves.
For instance, we might discover a new love for the outdoors, literature, or social thought based on the company we keep.
Certainly, every relationship holds the potential to enrich and deepen our souls – finding more of our true selves based on our relationships with each other.
At the same time, the negative side of peer pressure is that we can lose ourselves in our efforts to fit in.
Perhaps we feel the need to adopt certain genres of entertainment, take political positions, or engage in social activities that go against the very grain of who we are.
But here we’re merely conforming so that we don’t rock the boat. We don’t want to disrupt the relationship and so we give up what’s important to us in order to fake the peace.
In the end, we can never experience true belonging when we cannot bring our true selves into the relationship.
Communities thrive when we honor our unique wiring even as we discover and enjoy common ground together.
Stretch and grow into your fullness as you forge new relationships. And remember to be you. True belonging makes room for your uniqueness.