Dancing in the Light

I John 1:7 "If we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ, His Son, cleanses us from all sin."

Name:
Location: North Platte, Nebraska, United States

I am a christian wife, mother and grandmother. I am a licensed Social worker and a licensed Christian counselor. I am most proud of the relationships I have with God, my family and friends all over the world. I have been blessed beyond my dreams.

Friday, December 22, 2006

Collectively Unique

"Individuality is the spice of life." That was the opening remark of my high school state speech entry--many, many years ago. The speech highlighted the benefits of being an individual, looking out for oneself, and striving for personal success. At sixteen and seventeen years old, I remember feeling wise beyond my years and thinking my speech chock full of profound thoughts. I was a child of the times and bought into the culture of individuality.
Now I am much older, and while I believe we are each inherently unique, I also believe our lionization of individuality has done great damage to our supposedly faith based society. We are no longer a continent of believers but rather an archipelago of individuals. At one time, Americans were a collectivist society, in that individuals based their decisions on, and constructed their actions for the good of the whole society, or the whole family. In collectivist cultures, children grow up surrounded extended family. They make plans for college or military and they choose their careers by researching which path will most benefit the family. The entire family is involved in the decision and once made, they wholeheartedly offer support and encouragement, even to the point of personal sacrifice. It is not uncommon for collectivist households to contain several generations of family. Each trial and each success is shared by each and every member.
But, things have changed. We have become individualists. Today, young men and women base their career choices on what is best for them personally, what will give them the most success and what will make them the most money. Some of our catchphrases have been "look out for number one--if you don't who will?" "Embrace your individuality" and "Its all about you". And of course there are others. A noted psychologist said, "individuality is but one step away from narcissim." Unfortunately, we have become a nation of "self-made men". A man named Abe Lincoln wisely stated, "The self-made man worships his creator". The self-made man or woman selfishly makes decisions and plans that benefit self--without thought of others. They begin to believe they are self-sufficent, need noone. And as they succeed or fail, they take great pride and puff themselves up because they alone have blessed themselves. Isn't that sad?
God says we are all unique. He made us that way. He says we are fearfully and wonderfully made. He says we have unique roles and that we should not compare ourselves to others for each of us is important in the kingdom. But, He never intended for us to be individualists. He has always used the words, "people", "tribe", "kingdom", "church" and "body". There is no such thing as a Christian hermit. We are part of a group. We are collectively His bride. He has blessed us with gifts and talents---to be used for the good of the group. He intends for us to be a collective society. He intends for us to make choices based on the needs of the group, (the church). He intends for us look out for the interests of the group. He intends for us to wholeheartedly offer support and encouragement for the group. He intends for us to be together for many generations and together to abide in Him.
He made us all unique. And He made us to be a part of something greater than our own individual selves. He made us to belong to one another, to belong to a collectivist society. Success for one is success for all. Spiritual health for one means spiritual health for all. Strength for one is strength for all. We are the Church and we are collectively unique.


Neva

Romans 12:3-5 "For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgement, in accordance sith the measure of faith God has given you. Just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, so in Christ, WE WHO ARE MANY FORM ONE BODY AND EACH MEMBER BELONGS TO ALL THE OTHERS"
(emphasis mine)

1 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

That was very good!


Jean

10:32 AM  

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