The Sense of Belonging


This originally was a web-devo for Western Hills Church.

You know the Great Lie that we were told as kids?

You’ll get over it.

EVERYBODY is going to see this movie.
EVERYBODY is listening to this music.
EVERYBODY is going to this party.
EVERYBODY is wearing these clothes.
EVERYBODY uses these words.

Parents across the globe, across generations have had to listen to these phrases. It’s spawned such classic responses as…

EVERYBODY doesn’t have parents that love their kids like I do.
EVERYBODY is an idiot.
EVERYBODY isn’t doing it. You’re not.

And of course the classics:

You’ll get over it.
You’ll grow out of it.
You won’t always think that.

But this isn’t always true. IT IS true as long as the topics are parachute pants, leg warmers, or hairstyles. But the real problem has nothing to do with what we wear or how we look. The real problem is about BELONGING.

EVERYBODY has this longing to belong, to be loved, to find their fit. It’s this craving that drives us to do some of the stupidest kinds of things…like get our hair permed and wear sheer, white dress pants with pastel shirts. Or the tattoo or the piercing. Or shoplift or steal a car or join the military. You get what I’m saying, right? One guy stays home and joins the family business. The other gets 14 piercings and joins the circus. Both are acting on the desire to BELONG.

Have we been too quick to write this off as just peer pressure? Or lack of intestinal fortitude? There is something deeper going on here, despite the shallow ways it is getting manifested. It may be a phase. We may grow out of a style, but underneath it – there is a craving inside us that isn’t getting fulfilled.

How can I say that? Because while parachute pants went away (just replaced by corduroy jeans or sansabelt slacks or whatever else came next), we still feel this desire as adults. We just get good at hiding it or at pursuing it in less obvious ways.

What IS going on is this. There is this deep, aching desire to belong inside of us that was put there by our Creator. It wasn’t an accident. It isn’t a design flaw. It’s not a weakness. It serves a purpose.

The design was from the beginning, before the Fall. That’s our first clue that it isn’t a mistake. God created humanity with a longing for Him and for each other. In the original plan, He was going to fulfill this desire through relationship with Him and our relationship with others.

The Fall didn’t change ANY of that. Well…okay, it did. It made it much harder to accomplish, because we will settle for so many other unfulfilling substitutes: power, achievement, pleasure, pain, security, or materialism.

Take a tour of your basic garage, and there will be a timeline of failed fulfillments: golf clubs, camping gear, fishing poles, hunting gear, shopping bags… Garage sales and yard sales are our annual reminder of the things we thought were going to make a huge difference in our life that we are now willing to part with in a grab bag worth $5.

There’s a solution. It’s not easy. It’s not popular either. But it’s the only thing that will fill the aching soul, the longing heart.

It’s a relationship with Jesus that moves us to be on mission with Him.

There’s a lot in that little sentence. And we are going to unpack it over the next 4 weeks. We’re going to talk about what that means, how to get in the middle of it, how God continues to pursue us and call us to something deeper.

It starts this Sunday.

Do you belong?

Yes, you do. Come experience it.


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