I’m sure it has happened to us at one time or another. Because of who we are, what we wore or something we have said we have found ourselves on the outside looking in. I’m not totally sure how cliques form. It could be our unending desire to find meaning in life by who our friends are. It could be a desire for companionship. It could be because we do not like change. For whatever reason, we find groups of people and others find and establish other groups and we’re defined by them and it’s hard to get into them once they are formed.
All that to say, cliques tend to also be a place where those that are in tend to look down on those who are not, and the new people seldom get recognized. This is a cultural (in someways high school-ian) invention that has found its way into our churches. Of all places, our churches should be places where– regardless of your passion to scrapbook and another’s to blog– we should be able to have a lot to talk about and share because of our mutual passion of following after God.
The problem is, the minor things all too often take the place of the major ones. You see, we tend to link up everywhere we go. The latest place is online– we place people in blogrolls, we have social networking sites, we have buddy lists, friends lists– just about any list you can name. Talk to those you like, ban those you don’t. Place them in categories, vote for the stories you like– but I’m getting off on a tangent!
In our churches we are to love one another. Why?
- Because Christ loved us– we have a common Lord and Savior.
- Because Christ said that they will know we are Christians by our love.
- Because we will all live together for eternity.
- Because we all are parts of the body of the bride of Christ and each member has its own function that we cannot live without.
I’ve heard it said that we have to love everyone, but not necessarily like them all. When it comes to the body of believers, however, we should not be keeping people from associating with us because they have curly hair or because our group was formed with three women a while back and you have to have gone through certain things in order to relate to us.
We need to be ministering to one another and building each other up. How can we do that if we only take the time to get involved of the lives of the people that are in our clique? We may miss the blessing that someone else could give us with a different point of view. We also may make a believer turn away from our assembly simply because they couldn’t find someone loving enough to put themselves and their clique aside for the edification of the body of Christ.
Check what Christ did in His earthly ministry. Certainly, He chose twelve and taught them. That didn’t stop him from performing miracles. There were hundreds that followed Him. His miracles were to the relatively obscure ones– the ones on the fringes. He chose to dine at houses where others would not consider to be on his level. Observe how He let the little children come unto Him. He had a group of friends, but not a clique.