“A lion used to prowl about a field in which Four Oxen used to dwell. Many a time he tried to attack them; but whenever he came near they turned their tails to one another, so that whichever way he approached them he was met by the horns of one of them. At last, however, they fell a-quarrelling among themselves, and each went off to pasture alone in a separate corner of the field. Then the Lion attacked them one by one and soon made an end of all four.”
Aesop, Sixth Century B.C.
Safety is something that we all long for. Many of us have heard that old adage “there is safety in numbers”. In the church, safety generally takes the form of homogeneity. We form ourselves into groups of people who think, act, and believe like we do. There is nothing wrong with this except when disagreement erupts. This coy proverb from Aesop illustrates the reality of what division does to us when we let it invade our relationships. We sense that safety is found through division which is actually the exact opposite of what God calls us to. The body of Christ is severely weakened when disagreement and quarreling come between us. When this happens, we lose sight of the life God calls us to and we focus on selfish ambitions. When we put respect for the neighbor ahead of ourselves we find true safety.