"Some people will do whatever they have to to belong - even if it almost kills them." (Detective Mac Taylor, CSI:NY)
We all want to belong somewhere. We have a need to belong somewhere. We can fill that need in many different ways - some good and some not so good. But, not matter who you talk to they want to belong somewhere.
We can belong in our families or with our friends. We can belong to a club of some kind. We can belong to sports team or to a band. There are many places we can belong.
But, the problem comes when we don't feel like we belong anywhere. We go looking for a place to belong. And when we get desperate enough to belong somewhere we'll do almost anything to belong to a group of some kind. We also run into a problem when we look up to a group and want to belong to that group at any cost. Sometimes it may not truly be a group that's worth belonging to, but we have a desire to belong to it and we'll do whatever it takes to belong to that group.
I think this is the kind of looking for belonging spoken of in the quote above. But, I also think we often get to place of belonging at any cost to groups we maybe shouldn't when we feel like we don't belong elsewhere. And that's when we can end up making choices that may almost kill us to belong.
The church should have a better answer to this need for belonging than our world can and does give. We should be the place where anyone can feel as though they belong. We should be welcoming other people in. We live in a world where "people will do whatever they have to to belong - even if it almost kills them." So maybe we need to make our churches a place where people can belong and where that sense of belonging can be the catalyst for life change.