the second Jars of Clay inspired blog of the day….
This song can take on multiple meanings I’m sure, but to me it means that we’ve GOT to find a way to get over our old fashioned/self centered/comfortable/blind views on the world. We’ve got to eradicate comfort zones. Basically, we’ve got to GET OVER OURSELVES.
The bible says “love your neighbor as yourself” but that doesn’t simply mean the nice person that lives right next to you. Neighbor means everyone else in the world. We are not called to stay within our communities and comfort zones. Some take this to the FULL extent and travel across the world, but today, I want to challenge everyone to allow neighbor to mean the part of town that you often avoid because the people there are different.
“Different” takes on many meanings…
for some it means not going to the poor part of town, with housing projects, because its “not safe”…..
for others it means not going to the town where you’re the only person of your race ….
for some it even means going to the city and you’ve always been in the country….
for some it means something different..
but whatever it means, we have to be willing to step outside of our own little worlds (cue another song) and see the world as God sees it. To Him, everyone is His child. All of us. and all of “them”. We are called to love everyone and to get over ourselves and stop separating ourselves.
We are not called to create and further an us-them mentality, yet as the church, we do it SO often. It used to make my skin crawl with anger, but now it just makes me sad. What makes me the saddest about it is how far it goes. Yes adults make mistakes that cause negative circumstances in their lives (and family’s lives) BUT those kids in the situations that we allow ourselves to call “them” did NOTHING wrong. Children have no play in how much their parents make or where they spend it. Children have no play in their parents occupations. Children have no play in their house choice. Children have no choice in their skin color. Yet, too often, I hear judgement made about children living in housing projects, children living in the bad parts of town, children whose parents do this or that, and i want to break down and cry.
We are called to love. We are called to break down the barriers of judgement and hatred, yet we build them. So I challenge you. The next time you drive to “that” part of town or see “them,” think about the children, and think about how your judgement of their family affects them. Then, STOP, change your thinking, see those people the way God sees them, see that neighborhood as simply another neighborhood without your opportunities, and do something about it. We were ALL created equal in God’s eyes, we are all GOD’S children. So we need to stop building walls and start tearing them down. We need to get out of our comfort zones. What does that look like for you today? What does it look like for you to get out of your own little world?