I knew 2020 would be busy & that I wouldn't be able to blog every day, but I'll post them as I get them!
- a small group of people with shared interests or tastes, especially one that is exclusive of other people; example: "a coterie of friends and advisers"
- a circle of people who associate with one another
- a communal burrow of prairie dogs
- a small, exclusive group [of individuals], snobs
- to associate together in a clannish way
- to act with others secretly to gain a desired end
When I was growing up, I was exposed early on to the concept of cliques: a small, exclusive group of people who wanted nothing to do w/ me; in other words: “family” (just kidding!). In school it was amplified: there were the jocks, the jerks, the nerds, the geeks, the dweebs, the brains, the preppies, the yuppies, etc & they hung together; the cafeteria was were it was clearly delineated: who you ate w/ determined your categorization in that microcosm of social hierarchy.
There were only a handful of kids that could easily interact w/ every group; they could connect w/ whatever group they happened across. I was jealous of those people…
Jesus connected w/ everyone; He had His coterie but He wasn't a snob.
Let me back up a minute, well let me first back up 1000 years to King David. He had His three mighty men, Ishbaal, Eleazar, Shammah, his coterie, his “close friends & advisers”, yet he also connected w/ the common man. I'm reminded of a sermon my current pastor preached around 15 years ago about David hiding from King Saul in the Cave of Adullam w/ a group of people, many of them family. David had the chance to get to know all these people, really get to know them. He still had his mighty men whom he kept close, whom he trusted & who advised him, but he wasn't cliquish & wasn't a snob.
Fast forward 1000 years to Jesus; He had His Disciples & among them He had His coterie of Peter, James & John. He hung out w/ people in the community, He knew the bar owners & their patrons, He connected w/ everyone regardless of their occupation, reputation or gender. Jesus hung out w/ His Disciples & w/ His coterie, but He wasn't cliquish & wasn't a snob.
Fast forward another 2000 years to the present & take a look at our current social system: things really haven't changed much because human nature hasn't really changed; there's still cliques & there's still coteries. My pastor vehemently hates cliques, as do I & I'm really making an effort to meet & connect w/ different people in my fellowship & soon the community but let's face it: birds of a feather do flock together; interests & values have the propensity to segregate.
I have friends, we all do but I have a couple of close friends that I can tell pretty much anything to or bounce anything off of; they are my coterie. I try not to be selective, exclusive, cliquish or snobbish; I try to be friendly & on good terms w/ everyone but there are some people that you naturally click w/ & others that you don't. Not everyone has to be in your inner circle, but we should all strive to avoid being cliquish.
Let's be honest, it's hard. For me, I'm a shy & quiet person, I'm not much of a conversationalist. I'm perfectly fine just sitting & watching people… I'm perfectly happy if someone else is moderating a group… I've found that more people are Calebs than Joshuas, more Barney Fifes than Andy Taylors, more followers than leaders. However, in the last couple of years I'm really being challenged to connect w/ people both in & outside of my fellowship/community.
Coteries... Cliques…. Community... & only Christ bridges them all.