Esprit de Corps
Esprit de Corps
“I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one — I in them and you in me— so that they may be brought to complete unity.
Then the world will know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.” (John 17:22-23)
My guitar has a beautiful sound, but if the strings aren’t tuned correctly then it is painful to listen to. God designed us to enjoy harmony and be repelled by discord. And this is as true of relationships as it is with musical tones. Discordant relationships cause us to feel stress and lose sleep. Jesus saw how life draining discordant relationships can be. He prayed for us, “that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me.” In other words, Jesus calls us to reveal the harmonious nature of God by how we relate to one another.
Yet look around. Broken families. Abusive relationships. Divorce. Brothers and sisters not on speaking terms. Children in school forming cliques and substituting social media for friendship. Does it seem to you that building and keeping healthy relationships has become a lost art? People are complex. We come with painful experiences and heartbreak. Differences between us require humility and commitment to figure out.
In school we teach kids how to solve algebraic problems but not people problems. We teach chemistry but not how to build human chemistry. We teach basketball skills, but not the character skills required to become a strong team. God has given us a powerful and life changing theme for this school year.
Esprit de Corps is defined as “the common spirit existing in the members of a group and inspiring enthusiasm and devotion.” It is the mysterious and beautiful quality that harmonious families and successful teams all have. When a group of people love one another, are committed to one another, and are achieving impossible dreams together, they have Esprit De Corps.
Our goal this year is to fulfill Jesus’ command to love one another. We are venturing out of our relational comfort zones to figure out how to forgive and become better listeners. We are building trust and vulnerability. We are increasing our self-awareness and decreasing our tendency to objectify others. We are learning conflict management skills.
Imagine the final minutes of your life. What will you be thinking about? Will you be thinking about how much money you have in the bank? Your achievements? I think not. Only three things will matter.
Your God. Your family. Your friends.
(Paul Richardson – MSI International Director)