January 23 – Cassie Garbisch (Cru intern)
We were created in God’s image. The Bible says so.
- Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, in our likeness. . .” So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them. (Genesis 1:26-27)
If you hadn’t noticed, God talks in the plural. No, he doesn’t have multiple personality disorder. Father, Son, Holy Spirit – three in one. Thus the ‘us’. God desires, and needs community. And because we are made in his image, that means that we need it too. Adam experienced this – he realized that even with all the animals & creation, he was lonely. (Gen. 2:18-23) Once he realized this, God created Eve – this way they both understood that they needed community.
Lie #1: You’re fine on your own
FALSE. That is a lie. As we just saw, even in the beginning when everything was perfect and good, people were not fine alone. So what makes us think that now that everything is broken we are suddenly able to “handle it”?
1 Corinthians 12:14-23
Now the body is not made up of one part but of many. If the foot should say, “Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body,” it would not for that reason cease to be part of the body. … But in fact God has arranged the parts in the body, every one of them, just as he wanted them to be. If they were all one part, where would the body be? As it is, there are many parts, but one body. The eye cannot say to the hand, “I don’t need you!” And the head cannot say to the feet, “I don’t need you!”
You are NEEDED in the body of Christ – and you need the body of Christ!
Lie #2: You are unwanted
This is not true. However, it can be hard to believe, when everything that’s in you is just screaming for someone to prove it! You think to yourself, “Just once, I’d like someone to prove it. All I ask for is one time.” Doesn’t feel like you’re asking for much.
But, something to chew on: A lot of the time, other people don’t know that you’re not included/feeling included until you say something. Not that I’m saying it’s all your responsibility. But what I am saying, is that it’s okay for you to point out to a friend that you’re not included in things. It’s awkward – I don’t think there’s a way around that. But it’s also healthy.
… But in fact God has arranged the parts in the body, every one of them, just as he wanted them to be. If they were all one part, where would the body be? As it is, there are many parts, but one body. (1 Corinthians 12:18)
Lie #3: There’s nothing you can do about it
There’s lots that I could tell you – but simplified, it’s this:
- Spend time in the Bible & with Jesus
- Ask people to do life with you
- Recognize when people try to include you
- Don’t make it hard for people
- GO when you’re invited!
What others can do: People like us need to be invited. Sometimes even if it’s an open invitation to anyone. Me hearing in passing, “Movie night at Jonny’s house” does not an invite make. I want someone to invite me to come to movie night – not because I think I’m something special & deserve special treatment, or that I’m high maintenance; but because I want to know that you actually want me there. That I won’t be a bore, or annoying, or kill the party. I genuinely want to be a part of the group – but I’m not sure that the group wants me to be a part of it.
So how does Jesus conquer loneliness? Well, by first helping us to remember the truth that we are created in His image, which is 1) good and 2) means that we need community. He reminds us that he can provide that community. And that us choosing to be alone is not in His will for us. He didn’t create us to be alone. We can make a choice to not be lonely. I’m not saying it’s easy! I’m still in this with you. But know that the Lord is with you in it. That Jesus can conquer our loneliness.