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The J.O.Y. in Belonging

“Belong” is often what we long for, it is a part of the human need. I find myself searching for an answer whenever I’m asked, “What state did you grow up in” or “Which state are you from?” I don’t really know how to answer it, so I would say something like, “oh, the Midwest…” because I moved often during my childhood and teenager years that I didn’t feel I belonged to one specific state. That answer sometimes would leave me with an empty feeling inside. I just didn’t belong to any state.

There is a deep sense of joy when people feel like they belong; it could a place, a group, or to someone where they are known and loved. There is joy when we know who we belong to like the joy of being married to your husband. I like to use the acronym J.O.Y, Jesus, Others, You, to help us remember our belonging.

J is for Jesus. The Bible speaks a lot about our belonging as Christians. In Christ, belonging is so much more than a warm feeling or membership of a social group or a club. 1 Corinthians 6:19-20, states ” You do not belong to yourself, for God bought you with a high price.” Moreover, in 1 Corinthians 3:23 it says “and you belong to Christ…” We were bought by Christ and we belong to Christ. We were made to belong to Jesus, through His sacrifice on the cross. We need to let go of what we’re doing in order to feel like we belong to someone or something because Jesus sees us, knows us, and loves us for who we are. In Jesus we belong. Our identity is in Jesus.

O is for others. We do not only belong to God through Jesus Christ but also to one another in the church. Christians need companionship and community in one another. In Genesis 2:18, God said, “It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper…” We are made to be in fellowship with other believers. Going to church, worshiping and seeing others on Sunday brings meaning to our life. When we belong to God, we also belong to our church, the body of Christ (Roman 12:5).

Y is for you. Yes, you, but not as the world would have you think. The focus is on outward toward others and not inward. Making time for others, welcoming others to you. Inviting others to visit instead of waiting for the invitation. Jeremy Linneman says it best, “When we take the focus off our own need for belonging, and create space for others to belong, we find ourselves surrounded by those happy to have us in their lives.”

The JOY in belonging.

Jesus, in Jesus is whom we belong to.

Others, through Jesus we belong to other in our church

You, befriend others, you belong to them.


Bao Her (N. Kx. Nom Xyooj Hawj)

Bao Her (N. Kx. Nom Xyooj Hawj) lives in Colorado with her husband. They have two mairried children and two grandchildren. She enjoys time spent with her family, traveling and relaxing.

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