Recently I installed a ceiling fan in the room Amy is going to use for her office. When I finished the project, I found that there was a problem. Everything seemed to be OK until Rachel turned on the light in the dining room. When the light in the dining room came on, the light and ceiling fan in Amy's office stopped! When Rachel turned the dining room light off, the ceiling fan kicked back to life! I am not an electrician, but I knew that this wasn't good!
Later in the week, a member and his friend (who was an electrician) came over and 2.5 hours later solved the problem. I seems that when the lighting was put in, they sent the wrong wires to the room that the ceiling fan was in and so when that was resolved, everything worked (and still works!) perfectly. Alone, both of these lights functioned fine, but together they failed to work properly.
Just as these two lights failed to work well in community, so do many Christians. Alone, they do great things, but when they try to work with others there is a problem. It may be ego, I am not sure (but I do think that ego is a big part of it!) We need to realize that as Christian we are called to community. Working together is not an option, it is a Christian lifestyle.
My dogs (Calvin and Kizzy) are a good example of the differences in working with others. Calvin is great with others (if your name is Rachel, Amy or Tim!). If you are not a part of his tight little circle, then he barks and is basically not fun to be around. Kizzy, on the other hand, has yet to find someone that she isn't happy to see and play with! Kizzy is the way we all should be as Christians--happy to work together for the good of the Kingdom.
I heard community described this way: if you put marbles in a bag, they come into contact with each other but when they come out, nothing has changed. However, if you put grapes in a bag (and squeeze them together) they are no longer the same. They each take on a bit of the other and what results is a new thing. We need to learn from Kizzy and the grapes and begin to truly live in community. It is what we are called to do and be!