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People Groups

by John Fischer

Carl from Austin, TX sent this one in. "People are divided into two groups—the "righteous" and the "unrighteous." And the "righteous" do the dividing."

It used to be necessary for me to separate Christians from non-Christians. I needed to know there was "us" and there was "them." I wonder why this was so important? I'd like to think it was because I wanted all the non-Christians to become Christians, but I suspect it was closer to a kind of prejudice than anything. I didn't like non-Christians. They were bad people with whom I had little in common. For these reasons I learned to be very self-conscious and uncomfortable around non-Christians. They didn't speak my language and I had no interest in learning theirs.

I since have learned that these distinctions are artificial and premature. All distinctions belong to the Lord anyway and it is my prerogative to simply love people whoever they are, whatever they believe. I'm not going to have anything to do with handing out awards anyway. Besides, I know nothing of the motivations of the heart. I am so glad I don't, too. That leaves me free to point a way down the road.

If it sounds like I have this down, I don't. Old habits die hard. I still feel self-conscious and uncomfortable around non-Christians even though I know better.

Love, appreciate, dignify, respect: these are the useful verbs to apply to all people, all the time.

"Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You shut the door of the kingdom of heaven in people's faces. You yourselves do not enter, nor will you let those enter who are trying to." (Matthew 23: 13-14)

The Catch, © 10/22/2009 by John Fischer.


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