We live in a strange paradox where we want to be individuals but we want to be with like-minded people. In order to be an individual, you have to belong to a group. That is why teenagers will often disassociate from their parent's values. However, not to seek out their own but to be with another group of peers and like-minded individuals. Often the values that teenagers choose are not the values that are best for them. There are sometimes where someone must leave a family to find God but in today’s world that is rarely the case.
People desire to be set apart but not so far apart that we have no like-minded people around them. We are social beings and we desire close relationships with people. That is why we all have friends who believe like we do. The danger of being in a group manifests when the group values and beliefs are set for evil instead of good. Evil groups are primarily focused around offering people what is desirable without paying the price for that desire. That is why the body of Christ needs individuals to realize the full expression of Christ without being so far apart in the individual expression that they are no longer part of the body.
One of the big questions I remind myself is how do we as a staff set a vision for our church that is right with God and man but, that does not come at the expense of quenching individual expression. How do you solve a complex question? The answer is not simple but it must be solved.
Many innovations we use daily were answered by this question. People communicate and need communication to survive. Phones introduced to the world by speaking with someone who you could not see. I bet that you talk to people that you don’t see more than those whom you do see. Ponder that. Each phone that I see has an individual expression but they are all used to communicate. A vision that is from God is pointed to a reformation (re-forming) of who we are as individuals to express who He is in the body or collective whole of believers. There is a verse in the bible that speaks on this subject on why it is important to belong to a group but a group that foundations is on God and not man.
Where there is no vision, the people perish: but he that keepeth the law, happy is he.
This a complex verse. You have to unearth what it is not before you know what it is. This is not a verse about picturing what your future looks like and then living out what you envision. No one is so wise that they can envision their own future without God’s help. A person that believes they can foresee every twist and angle of life is a fool to pursue a picture in their head that does not come from God. The word “vision” means revelation of prophecy. People need a vision from God to know where they are going as a group of individuals with a common purpose.
We all need a personal word from God but we also desire a community we can belong to. The ending statement of those verse says happy is he that keeps the This verse both has the collective and the individual. It is easy for someone to have a vision that is not from God but, is from mans fallen nature that speaks to people’s fallen condition. This allows that fallen condition to become the dream of a fallen people. That is why the tail end of that verse expresses that the happiness of that individual is not in the vision of the group but in the person who keeps the commands of God.
It is an easier road for anyone at any time to promise security to a group of people through compromise. It is easy for someone who has been hurt to join in a church function that never demands that person to grow up past their offense and hurts. People who put their purpose in life in their victimhood don’t seek out a group of people who refuse to be victims. They join those who allow them to remain what they believe they are, a victim. That is why the end of this verse deals with the individual status. This is because a group call never leads to the happiness of an individual. Only God is and can provide your happiness. It is for that reason that even with a revelation from God over a group, that cannot produce individual happiness.
God, in His wisdom, warns about anyone putting their individual happiness in the collective vision of the people group. It would be the same as if God commands parents to put their happiness in how well their kids live out their values. Find the group of people who live for God’s word but never at the expense of being an individual.
Be a highligher in a group of pens!