Monday, November 12, 2007

Together Forever

Together Forever
By John Fischer

A friend of mine has written a tongue-in-cheek song about a certain reluctance to go home for Christmas due to the strained relationships that always seem to characterize these once-a-year family get-togethers. I have witnessed his performance of this song numerous times, and every time it receives a boisterous response from the audience. If the perfect family exists somewhere, I haven’t found it yet, and I would venture to guess you haven’t either. It stands to reason, therefore, that our spiritual families will be plagued by the same limitations that characterize our physical families. There is no perfect small group, no perfect church, no perfect community.

The issue for our fellowship, therefore, is not to be free of problems, but to be free of pretense. Conflict, disagreements or differences of opinion are not the enemy of good relationships—dishonesty is. We can go through anything together if we are committed to two things—the truth about ourselves, and the permanency of our relationships in the Body of Christ.

These two things are absolutely necessary for a good relationship: telling the truth, and a tenacious refusal to walk away. My wife and I have a joke about this. We tell people that we have simply decided that divorce is out of the question as a solution to our problems: “Murder maybe, but not divorce!”
Imagine if we had the same tenacity towards each other in the Body of Christ What would happen if the ending or the avoidance of any relationship in Christ were simply not an option.

If you think about it, even if we make it an option, it has to be only temporary, because we are all headed to our eternal home in heaven where all differences, factions and grudges will be erased forever. Like we used to say in the Jesus movement: We’re going to be together forever, so we might as well start getting used to each other now. There are no exit doors in the family of God.

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