Community well being
You might be a person who recognizes all the variations to Wellness Wheel diagrams that are showing up all over health literature. The LCMS even has its own Wellness Wheel that was created out of a joint effort of the members of the Inter Lutheran Coordinating Council, Concordia Plan Services, the Commission on Ministerial Growth and Support, and even with Grace Place input. They’re all well thought out, colorful, useful… and round!
However, what is not showing up on most wheels is “Community Well Being.” Yet, our friends at the Gallup Organization found that most of the folks in the world feel that community well being is essential to being whole.* Why might this be true?
Community well being evaluates how well you and your community fit together, and not just compliment, but actually support each other. We can think about this as our secular or hometown community. Is our home environment safe, economically viable, physically enticing. Does it offer recreational opportunities, clean air and water, culture and sports, etc., etc., etc. Or we can think of it as our church community, or our faith community. Is our church home a place of Christian love; can we discuss differences safely and freely; are we comfortable with worship styles; do we carry each others burdens offering hope and trust.
There are some key components to the well being of you and your community.[infobox color=”000000″ backgroundcolor=”f5f5e4″ bordercolor=”0f9347″ icon=”attention-orange” ]The first is the importance of your personal commitment to service. If you actively give back to your community through service and particularly through offering your time (after all, your time may be your most valuable possession), both you and your community will thrive. [/infobox] [infobox color=”000000″ backgroundcolor=”f5f5e4″ bordercolor=”0f9347″ icon=”attention-orange” ]Secondly, when given the choice, opt in, not out. Your participation pays community dividends for all. [/infobox] [infobox color=”000000″ backgroundcolor=”f5f5e4″ bordercolor=”0f9347″ icon=”attention-orange” ]Finally, though we Lutherans are not big into personal witnessing (at least, where I come from), there are striking benefits from sharing with others what you do for your community; not sharing boastfully, but sharing out of your care for your neighbor. Health behavior is most often sustainable where people champion each other, urge each other on for the common good. Find opportunities privately and corporately to pray, praise and give thanks to a gracious Christ Jesus, the head of the head of the body of His Holy Christian Church.[/infobox]
We remember the importance of living in community, just as Jesus’s first instruction to the leper upon healing was to return to the priest and be declared clean and whole, be brought back into the community of the well-living… and then serve well.
*Well Being: The Five Essential Elements, Jim Harter and Tom Rath, Gallup Press, May 4, 2010.