I have watched people on my news-feed tear apart others for months. Shredding their character, their perspectives, and views because they are different. I have watched people who were once so tightly knit together be torn apart by hurtful attacks and cruel words.
Friendships of over twenty-years have been destroyed because one person no longer chose to respect the voice of the other. I have watched people I respect strive to speak with a balanced word and still end up on the business end of a skewer because their views differed from someone else.
This world we live in has hate and love, heartbreak and joy. It has hope and a sense of hopelessness. It has advantages and disadvantages, the privileged and the underprivileged. We cannot have the one without the other on this side of Heaven.
What saddens my heart, what I cannot come to terms with, is the mentality of “buffet-style” living we all seem to embrace. We like this, but not that. We like him, but not her. We shop here, but not there. We buy this, but won’t by that. Sure, that is our choice– a freedom we have… but why do we vilify those who do the opposite of us?
Are we so narcissistic that we only want to see what looks like us?
There are people I love fiercely and deeply whose values and priorities are different than mine. Should I hate them, spew anger and slander about them because they are different?
The Faith I claim, the Jesus I say I follow, isn’t about exclusion. Jesus went to the worst sinners, hung with the down-and-outers, the people who were different, who didn’t fit. Why? Because they mattered- to God and to Jesus. They should matter to me, too.
Buffet-style living just ends up picking apart something that would have been a beautiful feast for so many, if we would just choose to include instead of exclude.
Please hear me– I am not pointing fingers at particular people, I am pointing fingers at ideas that are not the Truth of Scripture. The Truth of Heaven. Jesus was clear in His mission, For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost” (Luke 19:10).
When we attack people for being different we miss out on the mission. We, as believers, are God’s Search and Rescue Team. If we are constantly pushing away the ones who are different, we end up chasing away the very people we are created to find.
Heaven is available to all. When we put up a KEEP OUT sign, we are missing the point entirely.
*For further reading, check out Luke 15, Luke 19:1-10, John 4, John 8:1-11.