You enjoy membership in at least one tribe. Some people have several memberships. One of your tribes may sit at your dinner table. Another may sit around your board room table. Soccer moms can get tribal over their sons’ & daughters’ teams.
Tribes have something in common that makes working together and identifying with each other increase their safety or income or some other rewards. What kind of car do you drive? When someone shows up with exactly the same model, a tribal connection is easy to make if you want it. People who attend their favorite band’s concerts are tribal, at least at the show.
Some of the values of investing in tribal membership are increased information among the members, increased access to fellowship, sometimes even at the family level, and – gifts. Its supposed to be less likely that a member of your tribe will charge you for a small favor, or that you will have to pay full price for a big one.
Exchanges can be imbalanced, and people don’t feel cheated. In exchanges with non-tribe members, you want to get what you pay for. A deal needs to leave everything even. In your tribe, you get stuff and give stuff that leaves the bottom line uneven, though. You might help clean up after dinner at a friend’s, but you don’t go in the kitchen to help after you pay $60 for a meal at Red Lobster.
We are invading the tribes around us and bringing the Kingdom and Culture of Heaven. Generosity that is outside our tribe is normal for us. And when they see how genuine our love for each other is, they will be even more open to our love for them.
Prodigal means something like “insanely, lavishly generous.” In the Kingdom, you don’t waste your inheritance by prodigal living if it is given away in the name of Jesus. You increase your inheritance by giving it away to bring increase to the Kingdom (Luke 19:1-10).