When I was growing up, my dad would take me to garage sales, art galleries, museums, estate sales, hospital visits, nursing homes, etc with an occassional stop at Arby’s for a jamocha shake & potatoe cakes – yum!! So during my childhood, I was around lots of people who were very different than me. It helped me a lot that my dad was very personable & never knew a stranger because I was realtively quiet & reflective.
As an adult, I also have the privilege of getting to meet lots of people from all walks of life. I meet poor folk & prosperous folk, educated & uneducated people, polite & rude folk, insightful & obtuse . . . . Some people are alot like me & we see life from a similar perspective. In contrast, I’m also around alot of people who are very different from me & I love this!! What is wonderful about each person that I meet, is that they are deeply valuable, highly esteemed and massively loved by our Heavenly Father. Let’s be intentional that we cultivate connections with people are different from us & make the committment to express genuine love regardless of our commonalities or differences!
Being part of an elite group can be very attractive. The sense of belonging, being special & set apart appeals to our emotions & sense of significance. Sometimes there can seem to be some good reasons for being exclusive: excellence, comraderie, influence, achieving high goals, etc).
A problem, however, with being exclusive is that it becomes easy to allow the status of the group to influence the way we see ourselves. Sometimes we can think that being part of an exclusive group makes us elite or a cut above “other people.”
Another problem with being exclusive (religious, social, economic, fashion, athletic, etc) is that we can often remove ourselves from connecting with others who are not as elite, don’t achieve as highly, don’t dress in the same fashion, don’t had the same income bracket, aren’t as athletic, or don’t have a similar mental prowess.
The biggest problem with being exclusive is that such a mindset runs entirely contrary to how Jesus taught us to live. In John 13:14-15, Jesus models for us a servant mindset, ready to wash feet & lay down His life for others for the simple & revolutionary goal to express genuine love. Let’s always keep our sites on the end goal to love with a genuine heart & sincere expression!
I do like walking through garbage dumps in Cambodia to find helpless babies, but I don’t like figuring out stuff about makeup (mascara, blush, etc)
I do like studying biblical Greek and Hebrew but I don’t like office administrative work
I do like dreaming about helping babies in Somalia and the DRC with Saving Moses, but I don’t like the stupid hoops we have to jump through to get visas to help these babies
I do like giving the babies of prostitues a safe, clean and loving place to sleep (nightcare) while their moms work but I don’t like getting criticized for empowering prostitution
If you’re like me, our lives are mixed up with lots of things we enjoy and lots of things, not so much. I find that if I embrace the things I don’t like as much (makeup, administrative work, visa applications, criticism), I will often get to see and experience things about God that I never knew. Don’t miss the chance to know God better by rejecting things that might be inconvenient or uncomfortable 🙂
I was recently talking with God about a frustrating conversation I’d had & it felt like God kind of challenged me to include Them (Trinity) more – not just after the fact but during the situation & even before. Being the independent person that I am, I tend to jump into things with both feet & then yell for help. Today, I feel like God is challenging me to include Them in greater ways – to open the door for God to move, direct & participate in more of my life & not just in limited compartments or at limited times.
Here are some good benefits to including God more:
*greater wisdom, direction & peace
*better outcomes than my solo efforts
*deeper relationship with God
*better communication, transparency & trust with God