Here’s some good news: You are part of something greater than yourself!
As followers of Jesus we are sharing this life together – the greatest blessing (and sometimes the greatest challenge). One of our greatest joys is seeing people connect with Jesus and with each other. We get to see it every day, which is amazing. And one of our greatest struggles is seeing people drift away from Jesus and from community.
What happens when you start to feel unnoticed or devalued? Just this past week a friend recounted his grief over friends who had “checked out” because they felt unnoticed. He had tried to reach out, talk through, and understand. But to no avail.
What can we do to live in a place of feeling valued? How can we avoid getting ripped off in relationships, moving from one community to another?
We experience value in relationship with others. Just like Doug who shared he felt out of place, until he started looking to connect for the benefit of others. He studied how to ask better questions to know people’s stories, and ended up being a great friend (and counselor). Antithesis: whenever we approach relationships for what we can get, we end up using people to make us feel better about ourselves.
None of this happens automatically. We experience value through engaging in the practices of Jesus, again and again, until they become habits. Practices of drawing life from Jesus, serving others and engaging in the mission of Jesus.
You are a part of something greater than yourself, and that is good news!