Neil T. Anderson
Aloneness can lead to loneliness. God’s preventative for loneliness is intimacy – meaningful, open, sharing relationships with one another. In Christ we have the capacity for the fulfilling sense of belonging which comes from intimate fellowship with God and with other believers.
I long, as does every human being, to be at home wherever I find myself.
[Belonging is] the innate human desire to be part of something larger than us. Because this yearning is so primal, we often try to acquire it by fitting in and by seeking approval, which are not only hollow substitutes for belonging, but often barriers to it.
Jesus taught us a prayer of community and reconciliation, belonging to a new people who have left the land of ‘me’.
F. Scott Fitzgerald
That is part of the beauty of all literature. You discover that your longings are universal longings, that you’re not lonely and isolated from anyone. You belong.
Church is not an organization you join; it is a family where you belong, a home where you are loved and a hospital where you find healing.
The church is constituted as a new people who have been gathered from the nations to remind the world that we are in fact one people. Gathering, therefore, is an eschatological act as it is the foretaste of the unity of the communion of the saints.
There can be more genuine fellowship among those who share the same disposition than among those who share the same beliefs, especially if that disposition is toward kindness and generosity
Friendship is born at that moment when one person says to another: “What! You too? I thought I was the only one.
What draws people to be friends is that they see the same truth. They share it.
Home is ultimately not about a place to live but about the people with whom you are most fully alive. Home is about love, relationship, community, and belonging, and we are all searching for home.
If we have no peace, it is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other.
I think it is interesting that God designed people to need other people. We see those cigarette advertisements with the rugged cowboy riding around alone on a horse, and we think that is strength, when really, it is like setting your soul down on a couch and not exercising it. The soul needs to interact with other people to be healthy.
At issue here is the question: ‘To whom do I belong? To God or to the world?’ Many of my daily preoccupations suggest that I belong more to the world than to God. A little criticism makes me angry, and a little rejection makes me depressed. A little praise raises my spirits, and a little success excites me. … I am like a small boat on the ocean, completely at the mercy of its waves.
The best of community does give one a deep sense of belonging and well-being; and in that sense community takes away loneliness.
Ever console or scold people hurt in human relationships that satisfaction comes from God alone? Stop. Adam’s fellowship with God was perfect, and God Himself declared Adam needed other humans.
Some Christians try to go to heaven alone, in solitude. But believers are not compared to bears or lions or other animals that wander alone. Those who belong to Christ are sheep in this respect, that they love to get together. Sheep go in flocks, and so do God’s people.
Your life is not your own: it belongs to God. To “be yourself” is to be and do what God wants you to be and do, knowing that God created you for a mission and knows you and your mission better than you do.
Has it ever occurred to you that one hundred pianos all tuned to the same fork are automatically tuned to each other? They are of one accord by being tuned, not to each other, but to another standard to which each one must individually bow. So one hundred worshipers met together, each one looking away to Christ, are in heart nearer to each other than they could possibly be, were they to become ‘unity’ conscious and turn their eyes away from God to strive for closer fellowship.
Jean Vanier & Ann Shearer
Each person with his or her history of being accepted or rejected, with his or her past history of inner pain and difficulties in relationships, is different. But in each one there is a yearning for communion and belonging, but at the same time a fear of it. Love is what we most want, yet it is what we fear the most.
As a newborn baby breathes and cries, so the signs of life in a newborn Christian are faith and repentance, inhaling the love of God and exhaling an initial cry of distress. And at that point what God provides, exactly as for a newborn infant, is the comfort, protection, and nurturing promise of a mother.
“If God is our father, the church is our mother.” The words are those of the Swiss Reformer John Calvin … it is as impossible, unnecessary, and undesirable to be a Christian all by yourself as it is to be a newborn baby all by yourself.
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