Summary: Humans were designed to operate in the context of family. American culture has abandoned this mindset. Until family (physical and spiritual) is once again first priority, we’ll have tremendous difficulty understanding and practicing the Christian life.
In the last post, we talked about how Kingdom community is the soil in which discipleship should take place. Because we live in an individualistic culture, it’s hard to find Kingdom community. But if we catch the vision for how we are meant to live collectively, we can be instruments that bring back a Kingdom community way of life to our culture.
Is this good for the group?
In strong-group cultures, seeing individuals sacrifice their own personal dreams and goals for the good of the groups they’re a part of is a normal, everyday occurrence. In our culture, stories like this make the news. In fact, the New Testament gives us a great example of this mindset in Romans 9:3 where the apostle Paul says “For I could wish that I myself were cursed and cut off from Christ for the sake of my people, those of my own race…”
Admit it, you think he’s crazy. You wouldn’t give yourself over to be cursed for the sake of others’ salvation, would you?
- Career. What do I do?
- Spouse. Who will I marry? Will I stay married to them? Will I have children?
- Location. Where will I live?
What will make ME happy?
The primary factor in all 3 of these life decision areas is…what is going to make me as an individual happy and comfortable? Also, the answer to the question “Who am I?” is first and foremost filled in by the answers to these questions, not by the groups we’re a part of.
Because of this, our personal identities and whether we are successful or not have become dependent on how these areas play out. In general, if you enjoy your job, make good money, are happy in marriage and live in a nice safe place, you’re perceived as successful. The problem is this type of self-reliance is not how humans were designed to operate. When they do, the weight of these decisions and the consequences that come with them can be unnecessarily painful.