To belong means to be accepted as a member of a group.
There are moments in life where we do not “feel” like we belong, but feelings are fleeting. We need to remember TRUTHS to counteract our feelings which can be deceiving.
If I can be very transparent, feeling like I belong has always been something I struggled with. When something is a minor inconvenience I start to wonder if I belong. After I reflected on my “feelings,” I opened up my bible and guess what the passage was about? “One Body, Many Members” in 1 Corinthians 12:12 – 26 ESV. Go ahead and open up your bible app, look up the passage on google or open up the good ol’ book.
From this passage I gathered three truths to counteract my feelings:
Do you feel like you are not a part of “the” group or any group at all?
Remember … “For the body does not consist of one member but of many. If the foot should say, “Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body,” that would not make it any less a part of the body. V.14 – 15
We make statements over ourselves that we don’t belong based off of our comparison to others. The feeling of, “I do not belong,” does not make you any less a part of the body of Christ. You are a member of the body of Christ irrespectively of how you feel. The truth is regardless of your emotions, you are a part of the in group even if you may not feel like it all the time. If you are a believer, then you are a member of the Church both locally and globally. You cannot be a member by your lonesome, you are a part of a network.
I Am Not Less
Do you feel like you are too different to belong?
Remember…“If the whole body were an eye, where would be the sense of hearing? If the whole body were an ear, where would be the sense of smell?” v.17
So now that we have taken care of that first lie of belonging, let’s address the second one which is: “I belong, but I am less than.” Belonging does not require sameness. Let me tell you a secret, it’s okay to be different. Actually, it’s great to be different, Paul says it himself!
You function differently, you think differently, you act differently, you are wired differently because God wants you to add something different than the other members around you do. It can be hard to be different and still feel like you belong, but you have to remember the truth that you do belong and that God has a purpose for your differences. Instead of focusing on how you don’t function in a particular way, focus on your own strengths and abilities. Pray into how God has created you and embrace the truth that difference does not equate to being less than another.
I Can Rejoice
Do you struggle celebrating when your fellow brothers and sisters excel in what they have been called to? Remember…“But God has so composed the body, giving greater honor to the parts that lacked it, that there may be no division in the body, but that the members may have the same care for one another. If one member suffers, all suffer together; if one member is honored, all rejoice together.”
After you overcome the comparison game of being better than or less than another then will you be able to rejoice. Some of us are called to more discreet work, less visible to the human eye, but still seen by our Father. Some of us are called to be in more visible spaces. Yet one part, one function, is not greater than the other. And it is not enough to just believe that one member is not greater or less than another. We are called to REJOICE which means to feel great joy and delight as another member is honored. I think that being able to rejoice with someone else reflects maturity and the internalization of the truths that we belong to God and we belong where we are placed.
The chisme is that our feelings are temporary, but the truths within the word of God are permanent and they help us prevail during times of insecurity. Do not let yourself sit and question your belonging, stand firm against the lies so that you can stand be used by God.