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 have a friend in Cambodia & he has a heart of gold. Vimean is his name & he always provokes me to love well. He lives on the outskirts of a massive garbage dump & he’s always generous, super encouraging, positive & eager to share about Jesus. Vimean’s heart is golden. I was thinking about him in contrast to some other folk who have gold in their hands. Sometimes wealth in our hands can be really helpful but let’s always be sure that our hearts are full of gold no matter if our hands have money or not. Money in the hands doesn’t guarantee that a person has a heart of gold.
Our culture tells us that “more” isn’t enough. We need more money, more time, more status, more popularity, more followers, more friends, more activities, more education, more clothes, more muscles, more fitness, more image, more contacts, more influence, . . . . . . . I’ve been thinking about “more” in light of what the Bible says about the demands of our culture for more & increased provisions.
In the Bible, God is revealed as God our Provider / Provision in Genesis 22, when Abraham discovers the “ram in the thicket” as he’s about to sacrifice his son Isaac. Our culture thoroughly affirms the truth that God is our Provider and we revel in experiencing God’s provisions (in an already abundant country). But Abraham’s journey to experience God as his Provider was on the path of sacrifice. The whole journey that ended up with Abraham experiencing God’s provisions was the preparation and journey of obedience & sacrifice. Maybe what we really need is more sacrifice 🙂
I’ve been thinking lately about some things that I want – not cars, clothes or temporary stuff. Sometimes I think we can get trapped in our desires for popularity, wealth & achievements. If we aren’t careful, we can easily make this mistake:
popularity = importance
wealth = value
achievements = significance
Unfortunately, I think it’s easy to get focused on the wrong goals (popularity, wealth & achievements) and never really understand that we are already important, valuable & significant because of Jesus’ love for us.
You are valuable. You are important. You are significant. All because Jesus loves you, full stop.