In the last few hours God has used some powerful interactions to shape our community. His tool for doing this – conflict. We’ve had a few late night chats with fiends in our community. The chats served as clarifications and as huge growing points, some of these chats have been hard, yet rewarding. Scott Peck wrote in one of his books on the stages of relationships:

Pseudo : I’m ok, you’re ok. We never have conflict and everything’s just dandy.

Chaos: The bubble bursts and some real feelings are communicated. It’s also called the tunnel of confusion.

Emptiness: The parties involved work towards emptying themselves from aspects that might hinder intimacy.

Intimacy: Where individuals live in harmony.

According to Peck, a healthy community or relationship should cycle through these stages on a monthly basis! Oh the bliss of chaos 🙂

This past weekend we studied Revelation 7 as a community and focused on the fact that we are sealed with the Holy Spirit. We are also warned not to grieve the Holy Spirit. This grieving clearly involves relationships – the verse preceding and following Ephesians 4:30 frames the context. We talked about our responsibility to treat other people as treasures from God. The church plant we’re involved with covenanted to respect other followers of Christ in the “global village of God”. No more singing, “We’ve got the Spirit yes we do, we’ve got the Spirit how about you?”

I’m meditating on Bonhoeffer’s Life together, he challenges:

“The person who loves the ideal of community more than the reality of community becomes the enemy of community.”

Watch the way you talk. Let nothing foul or dirty come out of your mouth. Say only what helps, each word a gift. Don’t grieve God. Don’t break his heart. His Holy Spirit, moving and breathing in you, is the most intimate part of your life, making you fit for himself. Don’t take such a gift for granted. Make a clean break with all cutting, backbiting, profane talk. Be gentle with one another, sensitive. Forgive one another as quickly and thoroughly as God in Christ forgave you. Ephesians 4, message.