Monday, June 4, 2012

Do we edify or divide? by Linda S. Glaz

In my morning reading there was discussion about churches breaking up, sometimes over nothing at all. And isn't that the same in every other facet of life as well?

We all come together with a common cause and then splinter apart at the first sign we don't all agree on every single tenet. At that point, I think we need to remember the original reason we joined forces in the first place.

Here are the basic points that were made in my reading: in the basic essentials, there must be unity, in the nonessentials, there should be liberty, and in all things, there should be charity (love for one another and one anothers' beliefs). We obviously all have to agree on the mission, but do we all need to dictate how each member will carry out that mission as long as it follows the basic tenets faithfully?

Obviously, the writer was discussing the church, but can't we carry that into our writing lives as well? There are aspects that lose favor from generation to generation, writer to writer, and there are folks always pushing the envelope to make a statement, but let's not lose sight of why we write. To reach readers with an idea, a story that has perked in our brains until we simply have to tell it. We want to reach people with an idea, a philosophy, a solution to problems.

Can we do this without dividing ourselves, without trying to look better by tearing down someone else? Can we honestly stick to our mission to get the job done and allow others the same mission, just the liberty or freedom to fulfill the mission in their own way? And can we love them while they pursue their goals?

Happy Monday, all!


Joanne Sher said...

It's SO easy to forget where the focus should be. Thanks, Linda.

Jennifer said...

I agree. I hate when I see books written to tell why another book is so bad. And I'm talking about what I see in the Christian book stores...

Davalyn Spencer said...

Amen, Linda. It's a marriage of unity and individuality - which just so happens to be what I'm celebrating today, my 39th wedding anniversary. I'd have to say our successful marriage lines up along the lines of what you're talking about. And the fact that I was a child bride.

Jeanette Levellie said...

As a pastor's wife, I've seen this kind of petty disunity wreck more than one congregation and break many hearts. We are too often like 3-year-olds in a sandbox the size of Texaa, not wanting to share our grains of sand, or mad that Benny or Sally have the purple pail we wanted. It must make God cry.

On a happy note, I find that many Christian writers are eager to help other authors succeed. That heartens me. And it must make God smile.

Thanks for a poignant post, Linda. You are a thoughtful, excellent writer yourself!

Jeanette Levellie said...

I meant Texas.

Timothy Fish said...

The thing is, the only people who believe churches split over “nothing at all” are the people who are not involved in the split. Just because an issue isn’t important to me doesn’t mean that it isn’t important to someone else. Unity in writing isn’t as important as unity within a church. One writer can disagree with another, they can part ways, do their own thing and it really hurts nothing because both writers have their own goals and beliefs. But a church is a group of people who have covenanted together to accomplish a common work. If they are in disagreement, they will end up working against each other.

But disagreements come. We wouldn’t have anything to write about if they didn’t. What is important is that we take the time to work through those disagreements, rather than refusing to become involved in a disagreement. Didn’t Jesus say that the peacemakers are blessed? Peace officers carry guns. That should remind us that peacemakers are not those who back down from a disagreement, but those who actively help those in disagreement to find common ground.