Saturday, July 09, 2016

How To Identify a Bad Person

Children can be oblivious to so many dangers. Busy streets. Hot stoves. Electrical outlets. Stairs. And they are blind to dangerous people. For many children, every person is a nice person. And if people are different, they’re just different, not bad. Our kids usually learn that certain people are bad from us, the parents. Sometimes, this is good (in the case of their protection) and sometimes, it’s not so good. Our biases can be easily and unintentionally transferred to our kids. They quickly discover what we think about people of different races, different interests, different appearances or people with different belief systems. We tell our children they should love others like Jesus did and then we show them that we don’t like certain people. We gossip in front of our children and point out the flaws of others while medicating our own.

I’ve learned that stereotypes can be dangerous. Assuming can get one in a lot of trouble. It can keep us from better relationships and new relationships. People are not always who we think they are. And even when they are who we think they are, they are still loved by God.

Jesus associated with all sorts of people. He talked to the woman at the well even though that went against cultural norms. What if we just simply learned to get to know the stories of others? What if we entered into relationships with a blank sheet paper and an open heart? God may have put you or me in another person’s life to be a blessing, but that blessing can’t come if we are clinging to criticism. We may not agree with another person, but we can almost always learn something from someone else. And we may be Jesus along the way.

A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” John 13:34-35

Put on then, as God's chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful.” Colossians 3:12-15

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