The Roots of Community
According to acclaimed Psychologist, Abraham Maslow, our most basic human needs can be boiled down to security, satisfaction, and significance.
A reflection on these human needs reveals relationships are at the heart of our identity. But as we’ll see, Scripture affirms this as well.
When God made mankind, male and female, he made the man in his own image from the dust of the ground. Then he made the woman from the body of the man as a reflection of that image.
The fact that we are made in the image of a triune God reveals something more about our identity as humans. By making us in His own image, God has conferred both a tripartite dignity as well as a communal nature that is reflected equally in the sexes.
Just as God has perfect communion with himself, and now because of His creative work, with us, we too were created to exist in community—both with God and with one another.
The First Family
In Genesis 1:26-31, God creates a wife for Adam before declaring His creative work finished (very good).
And when Cain commits fratricide and refuses to repent, his punishment is to be uprooted from his family, his community, and forced to wander the earth as a vagabond (Genesis 4:10-17). He chooses not to go alone though. He takes a wife and founds his own city.
The need for community is so innate, so deep, and so powerful in humanity, many, like Cain, will go so far as to substitute a healthy community with a community void of God and righteousness just to meet the unfulfilled desire of accepting and being accepted by others.
This innate need, rooted in our created selves, is often the most compelling reason kids without a sense of community at home gravitate toward gangs or other unhealthy sub-cultures.
The necessity of community is innate in mankind; we cannot be healthy without it.
About Scott Postma
Scott lives in North Idaho collecting more books than he'll ever read in a lifetime. He shares valuable tips on writing and teaching, rich insights into theology and literature, and meaningful perspective on living a life of significance. You can subscribe to the tribe and follow him on Twitter, Facebook, and Google Plus.