I recently read an article describing the “disease of loneliness.”
Community is important for the very reason that it is meant to fight off feelings of loneliness and isolation, but it does more than that.
Community challenges us to be better, more honest people.
It is dangerous to live in a world in which your ideas and actions go unchallenged.
We should challenge each other’s ideas because “as a person thinks, so they are” (Proverbs 23:7).
Bad ideas can lead to harmful actions.
Additionally, as human beings we are prone to self-deception.
We don’t always want the truth.
We want our opinion.
Oftentimes we cling to an incorrect or harmful opinion out of hurt, abuse, stubbornness, pride, etc., etc.
Community, in its healthiest form, surrounds us with people who can see our blind spots and call us to account before we harm ourselves or others.
Ultimately, I believe community is important because it’s a part of our nature.
Humans have been created in the image of God, a God who is inherently social in nature.
To deny ourselves participation in a committed, honest, self-giving community (into which we give as well) is to deny the image of God in us.
And we become less than we were created to be.