I often hear people speak of a nameless and faceless army that will change the world; a grass-roots movement that will not be defined by any one person. While I get what people are saying, I feel the sentiment misses the reality of how God sees us and works together with us. You see, names are recorded in the Bible. Life stories matter. Family history matters. How they connect with each other and, more importantly, with the purposes of God, counts big time! Your story matters, and so who you choose to run with matters as well.
In all of his letters, Paul lists the names of people—even those who have disappointed him—because he is a relational person. His emphasis on family, being the body, finding community, and raising disciples, was not simply a ‘Middle Eastern’ thing. For Paul it was the foundation of the Kingdom revelation he carried that God is 3 but 1. He is community and He has designed us (no matter our personality type) to live in healthy community.
When it comes to living big, who you choose to surround yourself with has a massive influence. Paul warns us that ‘bad company corrupts good judgement’ (1 Corinthians 15:33). Corrupt comes from the root word ’phthiō’ (Strong’s 5351) which means to ‘waste away’, meaning that hanging out with the wrong company will lead us to waste away. Finding your tribe is so important because it is often the key to helping you walk out your destiny. In 2 Corinthians 2:12, Paul was so concerned about his relational connection to Titus, more than the ministry opportunity that was presented to him, that I wonder if he saw his connection to Titus as a vital part of how his destiny was to unfold.
Healthy tribes have an ability to call the best out of you. Paul, in the context of teaching about full maturity in Christ, instructs us to speak the truth to one another (Ephesians 4:15). Truth is not a philosophical idea or a doctrine of belief, truth is a person called Jesus. When you surround yourself with people who call the truth—the Christ-likeness—out of you it changes the way you see yourself and the world. We all need role models who set out ahead of us and show us the way, but we also need pacesetters—those who run with us and spur us on in our destiny.
What helps us find our tribe?
1. Core values.
Katia and I share core values that determine who we connect with intimately. These values go beyond personality types, gender or cultural background. In these relationships we serve one another and spur each other on.
People who honour others do so because they see value in others. We have found that honour looks to the gold in someone despite the reality of their process, and it means that confrontation in relationships does not undermine the inherent worth and beauty in people.
3. The promises.
When you surround yourself with people who speak the promises of God over you, it spurs you on to more in God. These people hold up mirrors of promise to us to remind, exhort, and correct us.
This is massive for us! Joyful community makes the tough times easier to navigate. The Bible is not being allegorical when it says, ‘The joy of the Lord is your strength’. Surrounding yourself with people who are able to celebrate, be joyful, and laugh out loud, even in the midst of difficulties, pours strength into you.
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