If you pay attention, our discourse is immersed in a sea of “otherizing.”
Over at Bouncing Back today I defined otherizing as the process of discerning and accentuating differences between people so it’s apparent one group is clearly not like us–they’re the “others.”
Homeless folks are them. Poor folks are them. Why? Well, they’re surely not us–right?
Saying that, I realize Jesus was homeless. And poor.
Emmanuel–God with us–was one of them.
The folks with different political views are them. The person with different skin color, or the kid who arrived here illegally. They’re them. The people in prison are them. And as long as they’re them, they’re not us, and we get to talk about and treat them differently. Maybe we tolerate them or even help them, but it’s not as if they’re part of our family or something.
“But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your Father in heaven.” ~ Jesus
Do you think He was serious? The Greek word for love is agape, and it means unconditional, self-sacrificial love.
It’s incredibly difficult to display that sort of love to even our closest family members. It’s impossible, I believe, to really love them.
To really love, we first need to stop otherizing. And to do that, we need to be aware of how often we divide the world into them and us.
I don’t know about you, but I’m gonna need a lot of help.
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Tomorrow: one idea for a first step.
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