Certain people make me uncomfortable. I wish it weren’t true. If I could magically be comfortable around everyone, that would be fantastic. But that’s not my reality.
People have beliefs that bother me.
People have behaviors that make me uncomfortable.
People have ideologies that don’t line up with mine.
Sometimes all of those differences culminate in me being incredibly uncomfortable. I imagine the same is true for you. There are coworkers whose differences bother you, family members with far out thoughts, or even church people who have interesting beliefs.
People often make us uncomfortable. This uncomfortableness is created from the tension our differences bring.
For every Republican there is a Democrat.
For every Black Lives Matter there is a Blue Lives Matter.
For Every Pro Life there is a Pro Choice.
For every Atheist there is a Christian.
Here is where the challenge comes. As a society we have collectively decided we prefer convictions over conversations. We value entrenched ideology over loving relationships with people different than us, and our differences are continually dividing us further and further apart. We have set up our philosophical foxholes, and we are not coming out except when the fighting starts.
A friend and I were recently discussing this topic. He made a statement on this topic in regard to the church that really stood out to me. He said,
“Many churches would prefer a drug dealer over a democrat to walk into their doors. Because they feel bad for the drug dealer, but they just see the democrat as wrong.”
When people get this impression from the church, then the church needs to adjust its behavior. I need to adjust my behavior. You need to adjust your behavior. We all must adjust.
Our change needs to take place because at the center of our faith is somebody who chose to not let differences be a problem. Jesus was perfectly comfortable with people that made him uncomfortable. We should be as well.
Jesus sat with the woman at the well.
Jesus allowed children to be near him.
Jesus healed people who were considered unclean by society.
Obviously, Jesus never abandoned his beliefs. Neither should we. While armed with truth, Jesus was still willing, despite all of the differences, to walk across the room and show kindness, grace, and compassion. Incredibly, people changed when they encountered something different from what they expected. His kindness led people to a new life (Romans 2:4).
When society was uncomfortable with someone, Jesus was perfectly comfortable. We should have the same mindset. So stop The Outrage Machine, and start loving others like Jesus.
I would love to hear from you.
Who do you need to show kindness to today?
-Pastor Chris Weatherly
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