We do not create ourselves. One of the great modern myths is that I can be anything I want to be. In Classical Mythology, this idea was called hubris and it always ended poorly. Icarus tried to fly too close to the sun. His wings melted and fell to the earth and died. Prometheus stole the fire of the Gods and was sentenced to eternal punishment. 

The blessings in life that come to us, each of these we receive, we do not create. We are not passive in them, we participate. The Social Creed states: “We joyfully receive for ourselves and others the blessings of community, sexuality, marriage, and the family.”

Here we have four sources of social blessings: community, sexuality, marriage, and the family. These categories do not need to be seen as distinct, nor do must they be understood as only taking place within the Christian community. The blessings of community take both inside and outside of the church. It is good to see the blessings of a healthy work environment, of a community group, of a garden club, of a neighborhood, each as springing forth from God’s abundant goodness. 

The same is true with sexuality, marriage, and the family. The goodness and blessings that can be found in each need not be explicitly described as Christian in order to come from God. As well, it is important to note that each of these (as well as community) can be locations of severe abuse by people. The social does not state that community et al., in and of itself is a blessing, but that blessings arise out of community et al. and those blessings come from God. 

When we acknowledge that the blessings we receive from the relationships in our lives come from God, we remain in a spirit of thankfulness. As well, it helps us to work towards stability of community, marriage, and family. The UMC Social Principles from the Book of Discipline are quite explicit in this

The community provides the potential for nurturing human beings into the fullness of their humanity. We believe we have a responsibility to innovate, sponsor, and evaluate new forms of community that will encourage development of the fullest potential in individuals. Primary for us is the gospel understanding that all persons are important—because they are human beings created by God and loved through and by Jesus Christ and not because they have merited significance. We therefore support social climates in which human communities are maintained and strengthened for the sake of all persons and their growth.

As a church, we believe that we should work to support our communities, individuals, and families in the aim of flourishing as children of God in all that we do.