Saturday, May 14, 2016

Corporate Living #7

The seventh principle that guided the experiment in corporate living founded by Jones was: "Never criticize a member behind his or her back."  

For Jones, criticism should always be open and frank and always redemptive.  To help group members achieve this end, Jones suggested asking three questions before offering a critique --

  1. Is it true? 
  2. Is it necessary?
  3. Is it kind?
I particularly like question two.  Wasted time nitpicking could be avoided if the group is in agreement on its priorities and keeps the debate limited to those points.

Is the criticism you would offer another an observation that the discussion has devolved into trivialities?  Maybe the fault does not lie with that person but with the group.  Debates on low priority tasks could be another indication that the group has lost its kingdom-focus. 

Recovering that sense of purpose will require admitting that the group has lost its way, asking for God's guidance, and trusting that God still has a redemptive purpose for the group.  A sense of hope for the future of the group will be a gift from God.  The means of grace are the spiritual practices that will communicate that gift to the group.

A corporate bible study on the contemporary meaning of Jesus' teachings on the Kingdom of God might be the means of grace that helps the group find agreement on the purpose of the corporate body, as well as agreement on what is necessary to achieve that purpose.  If I were planning such a bible study, I would start with the Beatitudes.

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