While I am working on part 5 of the developing true community series, it is taking a little longer than I had hoped. I think part of the reason for this is that the next section is about how Jesus interacted with those who had believed and been reconciled. But dealing with believers should be the easy part, right? In my own church experiences, I have found that it is often easier to deal with those who are not believers, than those with whom we should have unity and close fellowship.
In the last week I have had two examples of this. I do not want to give the details here, but in both cases, the goal of the interactions was to build unity, and single mindedness in serving Christ together. In one instance, theological differences sprang up, and the unity is now worse than before. In the other case, the individual involved agreed to work toward unity and after the meeting began to send e-mails justifying his actions and taking jabs at the other people involved in the discussion.
In both cases, there was a group of leaders who were attempting to build closeness and unity. In both cases, the goal was building a stronger, closer community, and in both cases, the community and fellowship was ultimately harmed. Both of these men I would consider friends, and I wrestle with believing that our unity in Christ has been damaged and at least part of the damage is probably my fault.
My point I guess is that really opening up yourself to other people, really connecting with them spiritually and emotionally, is messy. And the worst part is that the most messy are the ones that inwardly, at least, have been redeemed. Those we have the most in common with are often the hardest to really develop meaningful relationships with.
Men of Praise Motorcycle Ministry