35@35 #18: Community

TC's Guidelines and Principles for Life #18: "There’s no such thing as the Christian Lone Ranger. You can't do it alone." I am a bit of a strange person. My personality (if you're familiar with the DiSC personality model) is primarily an I. That's the creative, outgoing, persuasive talking personality. The fun loving collaborator.

Yet I'm also an introvert. Not in the sense that I don't like being around people. Just that being around people uses my energy rather than charges me up. So when I'm around a bunch of people, I enjoy myself, but then I need to have some alone time afterwards to decompress.

It is easy for me to casual interactions in the crowd, and it is easy for me to withdraw and be alone.

What I have to put effort into is building real relationships with people.

This doesn't come naturally to me.

Year ago, I noticed this about myself, and I realized that I needed to do something about it. So I looked around my life and identified the person who I thought I could most likely create a deeper friendship with.

I needed somebody who was trustworthy, pragmatic, laid back and genuine. I asked him to join me for a coffee and I outlined what I wanted to do: form a friendship where we could help each other grow closer to Jesus.

Our friendship grew as we met every other week and just talked about life.

I would not be the husband, father, Christian or person I am today without that ongoing friendship.

The bottom line is that we need other perspectives in our lives. When things are going terribly, somebody who can give you a perspective of hope is so critically important. When things are going great, somebody who can ask you challenging questions keeps you grounded.

Books are a great way to gain other perspectives. Art, movies, they can also do this for you. But a person who knows all about you and where you're at is worth their weight in gold.

Trying to lead a life, especially one rooted in faith, is impossible without that. We become myopic, only able to see what is directly in front of us, never seeing the things that are around and behind.

Find people or groups of people who you can trust with the keys to your life. Invite them in so that they can give you other viewpoints which will help you as you move through life. And, of course, be willing to provide this to them.


35@35 is a blog series by Thomas Christianson which involves 35 blog posts in 2014 on 35 things he has learned at the age of 35.