Truth By Committee
There are a lot of reasons community is important to vibrant living. A lot. We are a corporate people, made for relationships, for participation, for belonging. One of the most beautiful aspects of corporate living is the ability for the group to pursue truth together. The writer of the book of Hebrews said, “We should keep on encouraging each other to be thoughtful and to do helpful things.”
Each of us sees life from a specific angle. Like a ray of sunshine kissing the Earth, the degree at which we strike the surface of reality depends on the upbringing, experiences, and relationships that are unique to us. Paul tells us to be ready and wear truth like a belt around our waist and our faith be like a shield.
Perspective is the lens through which we view truth. All of us are looking at the same world, but the filters of our distinct lives create a prism of perspectives that see all kinds of different colors, shapes, and sizes of the truth.
The value of community is that we can measure these perspectives against one another. When we are exposed to a variety of these angles striking the Earth, we open ourselves up to a fuller understanding of the truth. Community invites us to see blind spots, discuss contradictions, and provide feedback. King Solomon wisely said, “As iron sharpens iron, so one sharpens another.”
In spite of what most of us imagine, we do not have to do this journey alone. The differences among us are too often cause for consternation and disgust. When we can accept each person’s perspective as valuable, just as valued as our own, we allow ourselves the opportunity to be exposed to the unique angle through which they’ve seen and experienced the truth. Only in doing so are we capable of perceiving a truer perspective ourselves.
This truth that God offers us is massive. In Christ, though we are many, we form one body and each member belongs to all the others. We need one another.