An unconscious practice many Christians don’t know they have is that of cloistering and/or cocooning. With the first, we huddle within our own tribe. It’s not a conscious act; it is normative to any affinity group with a common interest. Reading clubs. Baseball teams (and their fans). Fantasy football, C.S Lewis aficionados. Mountain bikers. Prayer groups. Dinner parties.
We hang with people who are like us, who have common interests. Affinity groups.
The other inclination of many Christians is, what Faith Popcorn termed, cocooning. We hide out within our own little perimeters of safety, a cocoon, to protect us from those outside our common-interest group. The world “outside” can be a scary place for many followers of Christ. So, when not with fellow Christians, we tend to hide in our own, safe, world, venturing out only to go to the bank or to go shopping.
We very much keep to our own or stay alone. It’s safer that way.
Unfortunately, this is not the road God has designed us to trod. He made us to intentionally live and move among those who have no clue what our Christian faith is all about. More and more I meet great people for other people. But very few Christ followers couch their faith in the context of loving this world. Instead, we tend to avoid people in the world, like we could be stained or somehow have our faith tainted by them.
Christians are just immerging, or are trying to come out, of a century of isolationism. Protectionism. Our connections to this world have been limited to commando raids, timid witnessing, and assumptions about nonChristians dreamed up in a church think-tank pondering an outreach program.
May I suggest that it is time we shed our cocoons and emerge as warrior-butterflies! Ready to declare the incredible glories of our God in an increasingly forlorn world. This world needs us.
Are you ready to spread your wings?
For I am not ashamed of the gospel,
For it is the power of God for salvation
To everyone who believes… .
Romans 1:16 ESV
Loving God; loving people… and bringing the two together! ©
NEXT— deep prayer — a mystery