by Rick Warren — December 9, 2021
From God’s Vision for the Rest of Your Life
“Christ makes us one body and individuals who are connected to each other.”
Romans 12:5 (GW)
God did not put you here to live an isolated life. While you’re on Earth, God wants you to learn to love other people, and he wants you to practice loving others in his family. The Bible says, “Christ makes us one body and individuals who are connected to each other” (Romans 12:5 GW).
When you become a child of God, you’re connected to other believers as their brother or sister. The Bible says you’re part of a body. What is this body?
Romans 12:5 says, “The body we’re talking about is Christ’s body of chosen people. Each of us finds our meaning and function as a part of his body. But as a chopped-off finger or cut-off toe we wouldn’t amount to much” (The Message).
Your spiritual life does not amount to anything if it’s disconnected from the family of God. If I cut off my finger, it’s not just going to stop growing, it’s also going to die. For my finger to live, it has to be connected to my body. In the same way, you need to be connected to other people in the body of Christ if you want to grow spiritually and fulfill God’s purpose for your life.
A study on mental health revealed that if you isolate yourself from others and don’t develop close friendships, like those in a small group, you are three times more likely to die an early death. You’re four times more likely to suffer emotional burnout. You’re five times more likely to be clinically depressed. And you’re 10 times more likely to be hospitalized for an emotional or mental disorder.
During the last couple of years, when it’s sometimes been necessary to isolate physically, people have learned to connect in all sorts of creative ways.
Whatever situation you’re in today, find ways to connect to other believers. Become part of the family of God. Join a small group. Get connected. As Ephesians 2:19 says, “You are members of God’s very own family . . . and you belong in God’s household with every other Christian” (TLB).