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Inspiration for Today’s Devotional: “Look Before You Sleep”

It’s a fact of life: people are different.

There’s the more overt differences; such as this one is male and that one is female, that one’s short and that one’s tall, that one is dark complexioned and that one is light complexioned, that one has red curly hair and that one has black straight hair, etc. There’s somewhat less obvious ones such as that one is liberal and that one is conservative, that one is from Europe and that one is from the Americas, that one has this rare genetic trait and that one has another…

And then, of course, there’s the more subtle ones that make us who we are. That person likes tea while that person likes soft drinks. That person loves rock music while that one likes pop songs. That person loves to sing out loud and clap and dance in Church while that one likes to sit quietly and pray. That one loves the great outdoors while that one loves big cities. Or, in the case of Applejack and Rarity, that one likes country living, hard work, farming, and tending the soil and that one likes fancy things, dresses, makeup, accessories, and elegance.

And as sure as there are differences in the world between people, there will be people who have a hard time getting along with each other or are put off by each other’s habits. Most of my family is big on baseball, for example, but I don’t really care for it. Likewise, (if you haven’t guessed already…) I’m a brony, which puts off a lot of people so they don’t usually find common ground with me on that. Some members of my family like drinking and some don’t. Some like action and sci-fi films and some prefer romantic comedies and drama. I’m into computer programming and engineering while my younger sister is into accounting and my older sister is into nursing. And as a result…I don’t really care when people start talking about baseball, just as people don’t really care when I start talking about writing software. And that’s fine, because we can’t expect everyone to be like everyone else.

Where it starts becoming “not fine” is when we focus so much on the differences between each other that we start seeing ourselves as better for our own. Case in point…if I’m the sort of person who doesn’t like body piercings and tattoos and I run into a co-worker or fellow student or neighbor who has a lot of body piercing and tattoos, I might start thinking only someone who was dirty or unsavory or of low intelligence would get those so I don’t want to associate with them. Or, say, another person is a real bookworm while I might read occasionally only for fun. I might start thinking that person has an “uppity” notion of being smarter or more well read than I am and I want to stay clear of them.  I know for a fact that if you’re a hard-line liberal or conservative, you’re always thinking about how “dense” and “brainwashed” the “other side” is for not seeing your way is the best. From personal experience, I know people think, as a result of my My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic fandom, that I’m silly, childish, dumb, or even perverted.

I don’t believe God filled Earth with several hundred thousand different species of beetle only to turn around and say everyone has to act and be a certain way to be “ideal”. And so long as I mess up and occasionally sin, I have no right to go around saying my way is perfect either. Galatians 3:28 reads: “There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.” Further, the first part of Malachi 2:10 reads: “Have we not all one Father? Has not one God created us?”

Everyone is a unique creation of God created for a specific purpose. And while I don’t want to encourage compromising faith in our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, beyond an individual accepting Him as Lord and Savior we need to be on the lookout whenever we’re finding ourselves shying away from someone or looking down on someone if it’s because of something they’re genuinely doing wrong or rather something that we feel is wrong because it’s not what we would do. Even more importantly, we need to be on guard for dismissing reaching out to others or talking to them if we feel they’re that “certain kind of person” who wouldn’t be receptive. Don’t forget; the religious leaders of Jesus’ day had a rather dim view of tax collectors and prostitutes, but our Lord, in spite of certainly not being a tax collector or having any involvement in the “oldest profession”, was still able to connect with them and inspire the best in them.

May we all do likewise.

Suggested Prayer: “Lord God, forgive me for my prejudices, biases, and pre-conceived notions about other people, and forgive me for whenever I have made an excuse to shy away or avoid someone because they weren’t the ‘type I wished to deal with’. Please grant that I may see others as you see them and share the love you have for them with them. Gratefully in Jesus’ Name, Amen.”