Together as one body, Christ reconciled both groups to God by means of his death on the cross, and our hostility toward each other was put to death.Ephesians 2:16 (NLT)
Cliques. If you’re not sure what a clique is, count yourself blessed. A clique is a closed group of people who generally consider themselves friends which always hang out together and don’t really associate with other people outside of their group. Cliques also don’t generally allow others to join their group; barriers are established and no one is allowed in lest the group balance be upset. When members are added, it’s because they are deemed worthy and like-minded. Cliques, overall have a negative association – people agree they are not a good thing.
However, with this current generation of young adults and teens, they’ve reinvented cliques. They don’t call them that anymore, because cliques are bad. Instead, they come up with cooler names like “squad.” Though the name has changed, reality hasn’t.
Here’s the dangerous thing about cliques (beyond that they are exclusive): they tend to look at others outside of the squad as inferior. No, they may not state it out loud (though that is often the case), but within the squad they talk about others outside the squad. They gossip. They begin rumors. They laugh about other’s hurts or perceived pain or issues. They seek to take down those that are either popular or are a threat to their own popularity. In their essence, squads seek to destroy others, not lift them up. They are hit squads.
Unfortunately, our schools and churches are full of squads. I’ve seen it in both places, having the unique opportunity to serve as an academy chaplain and church pastor. The sad reality is that these people call themselves Christians – followers of Christ. Yet, there is nowhere in the Scriptures where Jesus tore into others, judging them as inferior. Nowhere do we see Jesus refusing the friendship of others. Nowhere can be found where Jesus turned those away who genuinely wanted to be a part of His life. Nowhere did He gossip or slander.
Our verse today states, “Christ reconciled both groups to God by means of his death on the cross, and our hostility toward each other was put to death.” Here is our challenge: Be hospitable, not hostile. Be open, not closed off. Invite people in, don’t exclude them. Being a Christian is about bringing people together, not tearing them apart.