Tribal approach to community?

By Dave Henning / October 11, 2023

“[Romans 15:7] is a helpful starting point as we seek to live life on the vine with other branches because we can’t create community without accepting our differences.  Our increasingly tribal approach creates a pressure to reject people from other tribes.”- Kyle Idleman

“Accept one another, just as Christ accepted you, in order to bring praise to God.”- Romans 15:7 (NIV)

“I am not myself by myself.”- Eugene Peterson

Kyle Idleman concludes Chapter 10 of When Your Way Isn’t Working as he draws our attention to two ways allelon (Greek word translated “each other” or “one another”) helps us to be branches.

1.  Accept one another.  Different sides exist for almost every subject.  However, it often feels like no matter what side you take, you must oppose or reject the other side.

Most significantly, Pastor Idleman states, being the branches changes all that.  It means we accept one another, even though our opinions differ.  Because we don’t equate acceptance of a person with agreement or embodiment of everything they believe.  After all, we all connect with the same vine.

Yet, it’s all too easy to settle for coexistence, which Kyle describes as a cheap substitute for community.

 2.  Bearing one another’s burdens.  Large packages that exceed a certain weight limit usually come with a label on the outside of the box.  The label depicts two people picking up and carrying the box.  So, Kyle quips, here’s the question:  Do you see the image as a warning?  Or do you see the image as a challenge?

As Galatians 6:2 (ESV) reads, “Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.”

In conclusion, when your way isn’t working, you feel the extra weight added to the load you carry through life.  As a result, your burden becomes too heavy for you to carry alone.  Most likely a friend feels the same way.  Remind each other that you aren’t alone.  That your hope rests in Christ.

Today’s question: What helps you avoid the tribal approach to community?  Please share.

Tomorrow’s blog: “The wave of temptation”

About the author

Dave Henning

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