Friday, April 24, 2015

The Power of The Group

Scripture Texts: Mark 14:66-72; Mark 15:1-15

Imagine you are in the crowd gathered outside of the palace. You are given the choice of which prisoner you want released and which one you want executed. It might seem like the choice is easy, set Jesus free and keep the other. The crowd sure seems to get that one wrong, and we become convinced that we would have gotten it right.

In reality we might not want to explore too closely what we might have done because there is a pretty good chance we would have gotten caught up in the crowd as well. There is a powerful force in a large group that sociologists call group think. This concept says that when one person mentions an idea and another person repeats it, the group begins to simply repeat the thought no matter what their true thoughts are. In other words our best and true intentions can get hijacked by the group.

This is why it is so important to think about the groups you are spending time with. As a married couple it is important to spend time with other married couples, however we must be careful in selecting the other couples. Group think can happen in ways that are helpful as well as ways that are harmful for a marriage. It all depends on the messages of the group.

Obviously to cultivate a healthy marriage we need to spend time with people who lift up messages that strengthen our marriage. Think about when you spend time around people who are always critical of their spouse, and there is a high rate of tension between the couple. Chances are it would be real easy to slip into the same narrative about your own relationship.

We must be on guard for the pull of group think in our marriage. The results of not paying attention could result in us crying crucify about the very one that is meant to bring about our wholeness, and it might result in doing harm to the most important earthly relationship we have.

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