Welcome to the third week of our Wise and Kind 31-day Proverbs blog series. Over the past weeks, we’ve asked women at Sandals to share how this book of wisdom has instructed them in cultivating wisdom & kindness, as well as cultivating emotional health. This week we’re looking at the difference that cultivating community can make in our lives.
What are you learning through your daily reading in Proverbs? How are you cultivating the word of God into your heart and life, and how is it changing you? Share with us in the comments section below, or interact with our posts on Instagram and Facebook. We want to hear from you!
I’m a Cultivate and groups junkie! You may laugh, but it’s true. I’ve grown up going to church and attending bible studies, but I missed one crucial aspect—community!
I’m not talking friendship. I’ve had lots of friends—and great ones. I’m talking about doing life hand-in-hand with one another and life hand-in-hand with Christ. This idea of community was a concept completely new to me and so were the women around me when I first attended Cultivate Book Club.
I learned quickly that with intentional vulnerability comes deep connection.
Transparency is both a scary thing and a freeing thing.
My mask was down and so were theirs.
I felt safe.
I felt loved.
I was treated with kindness.
After my first day at book club, I left feeling filled, alive, renewed, and free. I felt like I had discovered a gift and experienced friendship in a new way.
The heartfelt counsel of a friend is as sweet as perfume and incense.
Proverbs 27:9 NLT
Each time I’m with the girls in my group, each text we share back and forth, brings joy to my heart and a smile to my face.
They lean into my mess and help me see clearly. They speak truth into the lies I’ve believed for far too long. They encourage me to press on.
They see blessings that I miss. They pray for my family. They’ve comforted me in my grief. They make me laugh.
They’ve been in situations that I haven’t, but might walk through someday. They offer wisdom. They give me grace. They hold me accountable.
I treasure their hearts, their friendship, and their counsel. With each new season of Cultivate, I come to realize that the depth of friendship and community goes beyond just what we can see.
Community gives us opportunity to be Christ’s image-bearers
and share His great love with others in our lives.
We are able to be His hands and feet for one another. We are able to be reflections of His love, His grace, and His kindness. We can help bring healing, encouragement, and hope to those around us by imitating our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
As wives, moms, sisters, students, daughters, employees, we are busy. None of us need to add one more thing to our already filled schedule, but I ask you to consider joining us in our journey of being real and cultivating community.
Cultivate has changed my life and brought me into a deeper relationship with Jesus. Cultivate has created relationships that I will be forever grateful for…a new community of friends and family!
In His Love~
LET’S DIG DEEPER…
- Think of a time when you have experienced sweet counsel (e.g. truth, advice, encouragement) from a friend. What did that look like and how did that make a difference in your life?
- Friendships are important to all of us, but especially to Jesus. He could have done His work alone, but He surrounded himself with disciples. Read John 13:34-35 and 15:12-17. What command does Jesus give over and over? How does Jesus’ view of friendship and love impact the way you see community?
- Proverbs 27:17 says, “As iron sharpens iron, so one friend sharpens another.” A lot of people can influence our lives, but who are the people in your life that truly refine and strengthen you as a follower of Jesus? How can you be intentional about cultivating community with these people?
The next season of Cultivate begins in the fall, but you don’t have to wait to find community at Sandals Church. We have a group for you! Find a community group that fits your schedule and needs, or even start your own today. You can learn more here.
As you continue your study of Proverbs, consider these other verses on cultivating community. Choose the one that most speaks to you, and be intentional about applying it to your life and allowing it to change who you are.
Instruct the wise, and they will be even wiser. Teach the righteous, and they will learn even more. Proverbs 9:9 NLT
Walk with the wise and become wise; associate with fools and get in trouble. Proverbs 13:20 NLT
Plans go wrong for lack of advice; many advisors bring success. Proverbs 15:22 NLT
A friend is always loyal, and a brother is born to help in time of need. Proverbs 17:17 NLT
Megan Suarez is a Sandals Ministry Partner and Small Groups Coordinator for Cultivate. She has a passion for connecting and encouraging women. She is the proud wifey of Jesse, and mommy to 3 crazy, baseball-loving boys ages 7, 9, and 11. Megan loves camping with her family, watching her boys play baseball, going to Angels games, and anything and everything to do with the beach!
Have you heard about Cultivate Unity? We’re talking the women (and girls ages 10+) of Sandals Church gathering together at the campus you attend every weekend. One church, one event, multiple locations. What do you need to do? Come and bring a friend, or come and meet some new friends. It’s just that simple. What a beautiful way to cultivate community right in your own backyard. We promise you won’t want to miss this night. Join us on August 25th. We can’t wait to see you!