How to use community to grow your faith

The other day I read about a Yale University study in which the appetite hormones of a group of volunteers plunged after drinking what they were told was an “indulgent” high-calorie milkshake but didn’t budge when they drank a “sensible” low-calorie shake—even though the two drinks were actually identical.

The particular publication, which quoted this study, concluded that mind rules the body. I agree in many respects, but I feel like there’s got to be more to it than that. More specifically, why did God design us as such?

Notice how the test subjects didn’t react based on their own interpretations. Instead, it was the testers telling them how they should perceive the drink, which in turn affected their appetite.

There are a lot of possibilities I could run with and the one that stands out the most to me points to the consequences of a community.

Our logic driven brain will do its best to keep us as comfortable as possible, which frequently means talking ourselves out of taking steps of faith. After all, efficiency demands sameness and faith results in rebirth.

Enter community. The words of those you surround yourself with will directly impact how you view the drinks that life presents you. In the physical world, a calorie is a calorie. Yet with proper words from our faith work out buddies, what appears mundane will point to what’s eternal and as such feed us beyond measure.

That’s why God designed faith to be a team sport.

Much like a mustard seed, it doesn’t have to start off big. For my part, I have an everyday intention to give at least one compliment a day. Each day, before I go to sleep I think about it and if too many days pass without me giving praise, I do it to the first person I meet the following morning.

How does your community support your growth? How do you support theirs?


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