Rubbing Shoulders

"If we refuse to interact with others, we will learn neither our faults nor our virtues. So many dead churches believe themselves to be unified and full of love for the brethren, but it is only because they never see each other. It is easy to "love," in a vague, abstract kind of way, someone you do not know. It is easy to be at peace with humanity in general, as long as you never have to reconcile with a real person. There is peace and unity in a graveyard; there are no arguments and no divisions. But it is not the peace of the living; it is the emptiness of the dead. In a real, living church, growing under the blessing of God, members are rubbing shoulders constantly, and so there are constant outbreaks of conflict that require forgiveness, forbearance, and patience--growth in sanctification becomes a necessity; it is sink or swim."

-Steve Wilkins, Face to Face: Meditations on Friendship and Hospitality

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