The idea of who my tribe is has been a very important part of my life lately. By “my tribe” I don’t mean the polarizing tribalism that can divide people into us vs. them. What I mean by “my tribe” are those people who support you no matter what, who you can be truly and fully honest with, who have your back, but will also speak truth to you.
I have also come to understand the value of having my own tribe.
I have come to appreciate, need, and rely on the people in my tribe more and more. I know that I cannot do life all by myself.
One of the basic needs of human beings is to belong, to be seen, accepted and supported by those around us, and to have a place of safety and security in our relationships. Those are the qualities that I look for in people who are a part of my tribe.
What about your tribe? Do you have people who you can name right away who are a part of it?
If you do, what qualities do the people in your tribe have that you appreciate?
Our relationships are not meant to be a one-way street--what qualities do you bring to relationships that people appreciate about you that you can then contribute to someone else’s tribe?
If you don’t have a tribe or are not sure if you do, I want to encourage you to think about two things:
What kind of tribe do you need in your life right now? A social support group with a cause or an interest you feel passionate about? Someone to have your back, yet speak the truth to you?
Who can you already consider to be a part of that tribe and where can you connect with more people who can provide what you need your tribe to be?
Not everyone you meet or admire will become a part of your tribe. Those kinds of relationships require a connection that is nurtured and has a chance to grow. But having a set of defined qualities that I look for in my tribe makes it easier for me to know that not everyone is the right person to be a part of my tribe. I can also have a say in who I choose to build those deeper connections with, so that I keep my tribe what I need it to be.
God has created us to need one another, to support and uplift one another. We are not meant “to do life” all alone. God has given us one another to be each other’s tribe, as we see in Romans 15:5-7:
“May the God who gives endurance and encouragement give you the same attitude of mind toward each other that Christ Jesus had, so that with one mind and one voice you may glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Accept one another, then, just as Christ accepted you, in order to bring praise to God.”