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The Communal Body of the Divine Spirit #6 Weakness

This post is part of a series about living well in groups.  They are a series of meditations inspired by a chapter in the New Testament. It is Pauls first letter to the Corinthians chapter 12.  Verse 22-23, in the New International Version of the Bible says, 

. . . those parts of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable,

and the parts that we think are less honorable we treat with special honor.

And the parts that are unpresentable are treated with special modesty . . .

 

A Hierarchy With Weakness at the Top

A group relies on the health of the vulnerable and weak. Groups that wish to care only about the strong end up being harsh and competitive – not nice places to be. And not very healthy ones either. If people are pushed to their limits then the result is lots of broken people; the decision (conscious or not) is that this is justified because of the exemplary performance of a few. (And if these few suffer bad consequences; then it is justified by their past achievement.)

 

If we look after the weaker will efficiency fall?  Usually not.  The usual problems with group productivity have to do with authority conflicts and the egos of the ‘leaders’; not the needs of the weak.  And looking after people will contribute to solving these common problems.

 

This means taking time and listening.  It may not always be easy, but it usually isn’t complicated.  And the group, as well as the individuals in it, will be better because we do it.

 

To Do

If you can, think of a group where people were reliably cared for.  What was done differently in this group; compared to others where only some were looked after (or maybe no one)?

I'm Evan Hadkins. To find out how to live a more satisfying life you can download my manifesto on living authentically. It is a book of exercises to guide you to finding, nourishing and living from the core of who you are.

If you would like me to write about some aspect of living an authentic life please don't hesitate to get in touch. There is a box in the sidebar where you can leave a question anonymously if you wish, or you can email me, use the contact page, or comment on this post.

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{ 2 comments… add one }
  • Wendy Love 2016/09/01, 12:28 am

    Hello Evan,
    A group that I experienced where everyone was taken care of equally, weak or strong, was Divorcecare, a Christian support group for people going through divorce, which I would highly recommend to anyone.

    It saddens me to say that a place where I felt people were not cared for equally was church. Care given seemed to depend on the kind of suffering. Adultery, homosexuality, divorce, any kinds of situations that made people uncomfortable, were avoided.

    What was done different in Divorcecare? Each person’s problems were focused on, not ignored. Sympathy was given. Judgement was withheld. Follow-up activities were in place.
    At least that was my experience.

  • Evan 2016/09/01, 8:26 am

    Thanks for your comment Wendy. It sounds like Divorcecare is an excellent group. Would you like to give the link to their website (if they have one)?

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