Going with the group is always easier than calling the shot that is right for one’s self. I used to think it was the pressure of group psychology at work but lately I am beginning to take a more cynical view. Group mentality is easy. It minimizes conflicts, works with a sense of comradeship, and constantly works to validate and reinforce previous decisions. Everyone, in and out of the group, will acknowledge that there are risks inherent with this approach yet nobody is breaking out of the pattern.
We probably know this well however in the midst of a group decision it is never easy to strike a different path. We like to be like. Most of us hate conflict. Why be different if there are no short term benefits? Why buck the trend if everyone is going the same direction? Is there ever a case just staying behind?
I find it interesting that when Jesus was invited to a feast he chose a course of action aligned with where he believed God was leading. It wasn’t a matter of right versus wrong, good versus evil. It was a matter of being Spirit led. He words were direct and transparent. “You go ahead, go up to the Feast. Don't wait for me. I'm not ready. It's not the right time for me.” (John 7.8)
As the conflicts rage all around me, battles form for the picking, there is a path that seems right for the group. I wonder if it is the right one for me. The choice range expands to include friendships; where to spend the most scarce resource, time; and what warrants the gift of personal energy.
I find myself stepping back from the group and asking the question that should haunt us all. What is God’s leading? Where does the Spirit tell me I should go? Will I step out from the crowd and do the right thing?
For you and I today, this moment, is our time. What we do with it is a matter of timing. Ah, choices to be made.
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