I feel no particular responsibility for the ambience, menu, waitstaff, and food at a restaurant that I visit. I come to consume and enjoy. Period. If the experience was great, I will be back. If not, I may never return. Not my problem.
I have no such luxury of disinterest in my personal relationships–at work, at church, at home. If there are dysfunctions in relationships, I own them. If there is tension in the air, I own it. If there are leadership problems, I own them.
God doesn’t want me merely to be a consumer in my workplace, church, and home. I don’t have the luxury of checking out if I don’t like what I hear and see. It’s as though God is telling me, “Don’t just wait for a great vibe–create it!” “All of you, live in harmony with one another; be sympathetic, love as brothers, be compassionate and humble. Do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult, but with blessing” (1 Peter 3:8,9).
One of the great themes in the entire Scripture is the power of one. One person can change a relationship. One person can change the culture of a group. One person’s leadership and example can bring the Spirit’s power and affect the whole group.
God just needs me to go first. And you.