Us versus Them is as old as the Garden of Eden. Eve vs. God, what did He have that she didn’t have? She, and then Adam, ate the fruit because they believed the serpent when he said that God was keeping things from them. Keeping them in the dark, without the same powers and skills God possessed. They ate the fruit and in the end changed their relationship with God forever.
Palestinian vs. Jew
Black vs. White
Male vs. Female
Gay vs. Straight
Democrat vs. Republican
They are all a different name, but they have the same point. “They are my enemy because I don’t have what they have or I don’t want them to have what I have“ or some variation.
In the Rogers and Hammerstein musical, South Pacific, Lieutenant Cable falls in love with a young islander woman. But even though he loves her, he knows that back home in the States it would never be tolerated. He sings “You’ve Got to be Carefully Taught.” The lyrics describe how, “Before you are six or seven or eight, To hate all the people your relatives hate, You’ve got to be carefully taught.”
But Scripture is clear, All have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God, (Romans 3:23).
There is nothing we will do, become, buy, consume, destroy, create, or sell that will make us equal to God. Period. Absolutely nothing.
When we see and understand that God is God and we are not. When we realize His Design for us and His love for us — we are not equal- that His love is selfless, sacrificial, eternal, and free. When we come to the day and point when we see and accept this love from Him, maybe then we will be able to start giving that love away to others. To those who don’t look the same, talk the same, vote the same, and even love the same. Then we will not judge everyone always, but instead love everyone always.
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. said it over 40 years ago and it’s still not fully realized today. “I have a dream that my four children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but the content of their character.”
What is the content of your character? It isn’t us vs. them in God’s kingdom, O Best Beloved. It is all of God’s creation- all His children- who are precious in His sight.
May it be so today in your heart, in your mind, and in your actions and in mine. Through God’s great grace and love alone.