No matter our good intentions and in spite of our best efforts, it’s difficult to maintain unity in our homes and communities. Working together at a job can sometimes prove testy. Regrettably, church fights are to be expected as there are disagreements that greet us at the door, beginning with the color of the carpet. So, conflict is to be expected for it is as natural as our differences.
It becomes a problem when we allow our differences to create and even maintain conflict. So, often we use our differences to pick fights and to create divisions. We even rank our differences and some are better than others.
The price of community is not terror or suspicion, fear or pretentiousness, tolerance or injustice. The price is not feigned ignorance or forgetfulness, silence or anger, prejudice or stereotypes. There are other ways for us to be together and it does not have to bring out the worst in us.
Besides, community does not come with these things. Instead, we bring them to the table and to the conversation. We pack them for the journey or someone places them in our heart- baggage, thinking that we might need them. But, these weights do not strengthen us but slow us down. They are hindrances to Jesus community.
The price of community is much lighter and freeing. It will cost us vulnerability, authenticity, truth and peace with one’s self. Because unity begins when we are no longer at war with ourselves. The fight is first with us and it is here that we must find accord.
The cost of fellowship is the acceptance of this truth and once we open our arms to it, then we will be able to open our arms to each other. So, we don’t accept major credit cards but handshakes and group hugs are welcome.