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We’ve been uniquely gifted to do certain things well. And life is not just about us. We have the responsibility to discover our unique strengths while also doing our part to serve our larger communities.

As with many things in life we tend to go to one extreme or the other here as well – either focusing exclusively on what makes us happy or losing ourselves to the expectations of others.

And in reality, there’s a place for both self and community in the story God is telling.

On the one hand, it’s true we each reflect an aspect of God’s glory in our own unique ways. And a large part of our stewardship is discovering this gift and faithfully offering it to the world. And those deep desires and passions of our heart are often clues to how God has crafted us. To be sure, we serve others best in part by finding those things that spark joy in our own souls and allow our hearts to be full and free.

At the same time, this should not be confused with simply doing what makes us happy, as if the purpose of life was just our own happiness.

We have a responsibility to those around us and to the communities in which we belong. And fulfilling this responsibility requires us to look to the interest of others and not just ourselves.

But satisfying this responsibility is not to lose ourselves. Avoiding selfishness doesn’t require us to neglect our unique contributions in a soulless service to the collective.

We find our sweet spot at the intersection of self and community – our unique gifts serving the needs of our family and society.

Self is not more important than the community and community does not annihilate the self. Both are to be held in harmony with each other to fully participate in the story God is inviting us into.

In the end, hold on to yourself and don’t neglect community. Honor both as you discover God’s call for your life.

Photo by Ismael Paramo 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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