I have noticed this for years. In fact, I have even felt the pains of it as a child. Cliques are everywhere. They start out in preschool and I'm sure they still abound in the nursing homes.
Having close friends is not wrong, but ignoring people in order to spend time with those you prefer is.
How does this play out?
Next Sunday, sit in a back corner and just watch. Friends will talk to friends. If you were a fly on the wall you would notice that most of those people have history between them.
There will be some who come in and never receive a hello and a handshake. There may be a guest who gets a greeting the first week. But will they be greeted again the next?
I am guilty of this. I will walk in and up to someone who I connect with, while leaving others hanging. This is wrong on my part.
We, as a church body, are to be a family.
We all have history, if we have Jesus. So, why do we talk to the same people every week? Why are we not branching out?
Beth Moore taught us this last week--if you look up favoritism in the Greek, the actual meaning is "lifting the face." In ancient times, when a ruler would come into a room, everyone present would bow prostrate on the ground. They would lay there until the ruler did or said something to "lift their face."
Get this! A hungry soul is lying waiting for your friendship, waiting for you to lift their face, catch their eye and you are in the corner laughing it up with one of your old buddies.
Beth goes on to say "Who do you think you are?" Where do you get gall to leave that face on the ground?
Favoritism, cliques, call it what you may, is painful. I know some really wonderful people with whom I had to WORK at developing a relationship. We didn't appear to have anything in common, at first. It's not always easy. Developing friendships
I want to encourage you to reach out to one new person/family a week. Then don't just leave that person hanging. Every week, check into that person's life. Ask them questions about themselves and keep checking in until you have built a friendship.
Will every attempt to connect with a person turn into a blooming friendship? No. We may not be best of buds, but we will be caring souls who are there for each other should the need arise.
Don't leave that face on the ground. Lift it up, look into their eyes and convey that you care and that Jesus cares. - Rejoicing in the Present