Testimony Tuesday: Spiritual vs. Social

Okay, guys, I’ve got a confession to make: I’m terrible at making plans.

Well, that’s not entirely true. I’m terrible at keeping plans, and I know this. I get very ambitious with my social schedule, but when the time comes, I look at the three nights in a row that I’ve got things planned, and I ache for a bit of a reprieve in the middle.

Sometimes, I’ll admit, this also extends to church activities. Most recently, I’ve fallen out of the habit of attending my small group, which is rather upsetting to me because they are a wonderful group of some of the kindest, most God-seeking, God-loving people with the biggest hearts. I admit that my lack of attendance has nothing to do with them, and honestly nothing to do with my proclaimed “busyness,” but rather to do with a lack of prioritization.

However, it’s not necessarily that I don’t feel as if I am not prioritizing God. Most of the time, when I skip group (or, let’s be honest, “since I stopped attending it” is the more accurate way to say it), I’ve spent those evenings in solitude with the Lord. And I love that. I love diving into his Word and taking to my journal to decipher and pray and understand.

Now I now – I know – that there is a distinct call for community. Community is such a key part of our relationship with God, and I get that.

But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light,
we have fellowship with one another,
and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin.

– 1 John 1:7

For where two or three are gathered in my name,
there am I among them.
– Matthew 18:2

Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.
– Galatians 6:2

But it seems that this calling is where I struggle most. I always seem to be fighting an internal battle over whether my obligation to small group, and other such community groups, feels like a social obligation or a spiritual one. And, quite frankly, sometimes it feels like the former, where I know that it should feel much more like the latter.

And, okay. Perhaps I’m just making excuses. It’s not exactly like when I was 12, and church consisted of being there 8 hours a day on Sundays, from my 8 am choir practice through my 5 pm Christmas play rehearsal. That was certainly more social.

Maybe this is just a crutch I’m falling back on to justify my lack of prioritizing community.

I can’t imagine I am the only one who feels this way, but it’s just such a hard line for me to draw. Where do you find that balance between feeling like you have to be somewhere for the sake of appearances, and feeling like you have to be there for the sake of your soul? Is this just another one of those tests, where the Lord is asking to see how much effort I am willing to put forth for His glory? Or is my hesitation about all of this genuinely stemming from a well-intended, but conflicted place?

I’m full of questions today, and I can only keep praying, praying, praying that the Lord will guide me towards a resolution.

Amen.


4 thoughts on “Testimony Tuesday: Spiritual vs. Social

  1. Tough questions! I’m not sure there is one answer. I think it depends on the individual and their needs. We all need both social and spiritual time, but not necessarily in the same way or to the same degree. Some people need more social time and others need more quiet time. They sometimes overlap, but they don’t need to. I think the key is figuring out what sort of balance YOU need and then be intentional about it. Where do you find the life? If you decide you need more social time or more quiet time, then pay extra close attention to any excuses you make to yourself to skip out on it. Thanks for the thoughtful post!

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  2. Taylor, I feel that struggle for sure. I am a busy mom of 3 boys and our small group (we call life group) meets on Sunday evenings. My husband and I decided that if we can make it, great! However, to be honest, there have been far more weeks where we didn’t make it because we felt we needed to simply recharge and be alone with our family before the busy week ahead. I really don’t believe there is a right or wrong answer here- I think you’re doing what is right by praying and asking questions- that’s a great place to start. Thank you for your thoughtful post.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Susan, thank you so much for the comment. It’s been so good for my heart to hear that I’m not alone in this – so thankful God led me to take the leap and post about these worries. I so so appreciate your thoughtful response. 🙂

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