The first Christmas is God adapting to humanity. Representatives of Church-world like to talk about adjusting our attitudes and behaviors to God. But Christmas is an accommodation.
Accommodation overcomes distance.
Thank you for being my friend:
Accommodation allows relationship.
Yesterday I said, “Thank you for being my friend,” to a long-time friend. It struck me that he accommodates me.
I like to think that I accommodate him. It feels superior. The uncomfortable truth is, he puts up with me.
“Putting up with” is a less comfortable expression for accommodation.
The people around you put up with your irritating qualities, perhaps more than you would like to acknowledge. They make adjustments for your strengths, weaknesses, and quirks.
Lasting relationships smell of accommodation. On the other hand, when accommodation dies, so do relationships.
The language of accommodation includes:
- Celebration of difference. You don’t have to be like me for us to have a relationship.
- Compassion for struggle. Situations that are easy for you are difficult for others.
- Challenge that stretches another but doesn’t reject them.
Muslim and Jewish readers are practicing accommodation right now, along with anyone reading this post who doesn’t celebrate Christmas. Even though Santa often replaces Jesus, Christmas is a Christian holiday.
Those of you celebrating Christmas may be accommodating others right now. Perhaps you’re putting up with a relative you don’t like. Congratulations! You might not feel noble, but adapting is god-like.
You can’t accommodate everyone. I remember reading an essay about a town that built a kitchen for a group of cannibals. You know what happened.
Those who don’t add value to organizational mission and vision might be good people, but don’t adapt to them. Be kind, but not accommodating.