The “Common”

It’s understandable that reading what I read may not take your mind to places mine goes.

We all have our individual life experience. Sometimes there is great overlap in thought process, sometimes not so much.

Yesterday and today I read a couple articles that on the surface may seem mutually exclusive but what they spawned in my brain is what I will blog on here.

The two articles:

https://medium.com/bad-words/why-twitter-s-dying-and-what-you-can-learn-from-it-9ed233e37974

-and-

http://www.relevantmagazine.com/god/5-big-misconceptions-about-community

Umair extrapolates on the nastiness and sad consequences of social media abuse via language and lack of compassion and grace.

Kristi gets the crosses in community and I think gracefully dispels the “instant” approach to relationships.

In very essence, beyond a lot of strong and I think correct points being made (with a few I disagree with in each) there is this underlying thread that to me is core to the problem of ANY relationship human-to-human: attitude.

Attitude is the one thing you can (or cannot seem to in either yourself or others) control.

In Galatians 5 Paul writes one of the fruits God the Holy Spirit grows in the life of a Christ follower is “self-control”. One of the others is, of course, love.

The fact is that on web-based social media, in Central Park (New York City) or main street Podunk U.S.A., even in the middle of a jr. college campus in small-town America much less in a marriage or close community (church, Elks Lodge, whatever) you CANNOT fully control or censor thought, attitude and finally speech or some other form of communication.

People protest “with their feet” by quitting a relationship, job, band or whatever on any number of grounds, but always and always attitude, then civility or lack of it in communication (or zero communication) punctuates and either uplifts and solidifies or wrecks and at times ends the relationship.

In business it can cost millions. In governments, billions or trillions. In war, lives and the futures of millions of people not even involved in the conflict in any direct sense.

Attitude. Grace. Honesty. Humility. Giving room to talk straight. Forgiveness. Venting but not “scorched earth”, blitzkrieg and guerilla-like sniper tactics. In other words, not terrorism but honest dialogue.

In the end you may fully disagree. Can you still be friends? Do you truly even WANT friendship?

Marriages, families, social media groups, businesses, church and mission societies, kibbutzes, you-name-it, community and gracious but difficult communication and on-going forgiveness, for that matter commitments that both parties/sides/groups actually WANT to be linked, to be friends, co-workers for a lifetime even if miles apart… this is the stuff of community that I find both daunting yet very, very possible, doable and favorable.

Attitude, is what both unites and separates people. What we share in common can be the glue while at time passes, it may well be we do not share X, Y or Z in common any longer and there’s the rub. Can you love and be loyal while yet disagreeing? What hills are truly worth dying on and dying for?

Each of us chooses, there is no escaping life among others who are of course, as flawed as you and I are!

On one hand “How can two walk together if they are not in agreement?” while on the other “How good and how pleasant it is for brothers and sisters to dwell together” in the sense of love and unity.

Indeed.

It takes effort, not mere romance, imagination, fad-chasing or “looks like FUN” for the epoxy of the Spirit to happen between us.

Part of that effort is knowing when to pray and hush, when to speak but check attitude, choice of words, tone of voice, timing and whether or not the relationship is worth keeping. Really.

God commands us to love one another, forgive one another, out of love to serve one another throughout The Bible. We all know this and most believers truly get it.

The issue is living it out relationally one day, one decision, one moment at a time.

For any honeymoon to become, flourish and continue growing in a truly nurturing marriage these things must be faced and lived out.

Crosses are real. So are kisses. One thing leads to another and round it goes again 🙂

As always, thanks for stopping by! -Glenn

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