The Amazing Truth about The Awesome Tribe of God

African Women Carrying Baskets

"That is where the tribes go up— the tribes of the Lord— to praise the name of the Lord according to the statute given to Israel." Psalm 122: 4 (NIV)


Recently I had the privilege of facilitating a culture workshop with my team at work. The workshop's goal was to define as a team what we wanted the culture of our work environment to be. We talked about culture regarding what norms will be accepted, our value system, work styles, common goals, social activities, and ways we celebrate together. These values would be the baseline of culture, the core identity of our Tribe. 


As I started to think through some of the things we discussed, I wondered at the polarity and division that this same sense of culture and belonging had brought to the world we live in. Culture, Tribe, the very thing that aimed to unite us, somehow found a way to divide us. But, good news, despite our different races, cultures, and norms, we are connected by a new one. That's amazing truth, number one.


In Psalm 122, David talks about a Tribe, God's people who go up to worship him. The curious cat in me wondered, "who are these Tribe of God? Is it a particular nation? What defines them? In John 1: 12-13, I found a definition of who belongs in the Tribe of God, and no, it has nothing to do with your country or color. 


"But to all who did receive Him, to those who believed in His name, He gave the right to become children of God—children born not of blood, nor of the desire or will of man, but born of God." John 1: 12-13



Excellent news! As long as we believe in God, by believing in his son Jesus, we now belong to a new Tribe -The Tribe of God. That's the amazing truth, number two. Galatians 3:28 goes on to further buttress this "There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus." (NIV)


What a joyful and liberating truth that we are all one in Christ, all the same belonging to The Tribe of God. So as members of this Tribe, what are the governing norms and traditions that we all should live by? Our culture is defined by one phrase" love God and to love one another."


"He answered, "' Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind' and, 'Love your neighbor as yourself.'" Luke 10:24 (NIV). 


The acceptable behavior from the Tribe of God is one laced with Love. You don't have to live defined by your natural looks, culture or language; you can choose to live life fully in line with this new Tribe that you belong to in God. That's the amazing truth, number three.


Let's get practical, shall we? As members of God's Tribe of Love, I Corinthians 13: 4-7 defines our value system: "Love is patient, Love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no account of wrongs. Love takes no pleasure in evil, but rejoices in the truth. It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things."


Do you know anyone that sounds like the above? Chances are they belong to the Tribe of God. And if you haven't met anyone like this, you should be that person. The only way we can unite the world we live in today is to live as members of the Tribe of God. So live in Love, living to pull everyone else in to be a member of this Tribe.


This month is black history month. All around the world, black men and women, mainly of African -American heritage, are celebrated. This month remembers the struggle of the black race to claim freedom and equality for all. But, as we celebrate, let's remember we have another equally vital tribe to align to – one that takes no account of our skins' color but the state of our hearts. 


I pray that one day the world will see clearly, that it's not what's outside that counts but what's on the inside. That's all that God, our new Tribe leader, cares about, and that's all we should care about too.