A little over a quarter of a century ago, in The Church at the End of the 20th Centry, Francis Schaeffer called for the church to maintain “the orthodoxy of doctrine and the orthodoxy of community.” This is one of my favorite quotes from that book:
[O]ur churches must be real communities. With an orthodoxy of doctrine there must equally be an orthodoxy of community. Our Christian organizations must be communities in which others see what God has revealed in the teaching of His Word… We may preach truth. We may preach orthodoxy. But if others cannot see something beautiful in our human relationships, if they do not see that upon the basis of what Christ has done our Christian communities can stop their infighting, then we are not living properly.
This always convicts me. Can others see “something beautiful” in my relationship with those around me? What about in your life? Can others see the beauty of Christ demonstrated in your relationships?