What About Differences?
The political and social upheaval that is going on in the United States can give great insights into what each of us, as followers of Jesus, are clinging to for significance and hope.
Paul wrote something to the Galatian church that applies to our context:
There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. – Galatians 3:28
The ways that the world uses to judge significance and valued are meaningless in the Kingdom that Jesus founded.
So using race to justify power, entitlement, or worth is not part of the way a follower of Jesus should be living their life.
Using economic status (see James 2) or nationality or education level or gender to ascribe worth, meaning, or purpose is contrary to the gospel that Jesus left us.
This gospel is one of repentance and forgiveness for those in Christ.
Segregation, self-justification, and unforgiveness are hallmarks of the world’s political, economic, and social systems. For, if someone from the other party has political power, that makes them an impediment to something you need and thus the enemy. Their actions are unforgiveable or have no rationalization. The same can be said with any identity based outside of Christ. Sadly, as I check twitter and facebook, more and more what I see of both left and right leaning Christians is the adoption of the narratives of the world.
If you are spending more time checking for and outraged by the sliver in your brother or sister’s eye, then you likely have adopted a political or economic or racial or nationalistic component to your identity.
In Mark 10:42-45, Jesus scolded his disciples for trying to live by the principles of the world and gain identity through political power and influence. He also reveals to them the way that the Kingdom is going to be great – by serving others.
This call to serve is not given as a principle of leadership, as we have made popular, but a way for the Kingdom of Jesus to be known.
Do you want to combat racial injustice? Then serve those who are victims.
Do you want to combat sexism? Then serve those who receive that treatment.
Do you want to see a difference in economic injustice? It starts by serving those who are its victims.
We do not fight by the principles that the world does (2 Corinthians 10). We do not answer bad politics through political power. In fact, we continue to see the ineffectiveness and divisiveness of the strategy in our culture. We fight it through the weapon of the Kingdom – our presence, our compassion, our forgiveness, and our service.
I am an author, discipleship coach, and speaker who helps followers of Jesus gain perspective on their identities so they can experience transformation in their decisions, behaviors and relationships and live in freedom. My book Tree of Lies: Transforming Decisions, Behaviors, and Relationships By Gaining Perspective On Your Identity in Christ available on Amazon (http://amzn.to/2bjMRyx) or Barnes and Noble (http://bit.ly/2c0q62I). Visit TreeofLies.com for free resources.
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