Which boxes define you?

This is just a partial list of categories that divide us. If we think long and hard enough, we can fill up the rest of this page. But this is enough to make my point.

Our world is fractured, and we can clearly choose where we stand in each category as we work down the list. We also know people who would be in opposition to us. It is essential to stand for what we believe is right. Biblically-based moral and ethical standards should be the foundation we stand upon, but it should not be the aim. If it is the aim, we tend to accept or reject people based on the number of checkboxes we have in common.

In addition to the previous blog on being politically incorrect, we can rise above the divisive rhetoric that pits us against one another, tearing apart families and friendships. Jesus’ encounter with the Samaritan woman shows us something completely different from identity politics. They would have had little if any of the same boxes checked. But that did not deter Him from speaking to her. Why not? What can we glean from Jesus’ encounter with her?

7  When a Samaritan woman came to draw water, Jesus said to her, “Will you give me a drink?” . . . 9  The Samaritan woman said to him, “You are a Jew and I am a Samaritan woman. How can you ask me for a drink?” (For Jews do not associate with Samaritans.) 10  Jesus answered her, “If you knew the gift of God and who it is that asks you for a drink, you would have asked him and he would have given you living water.” (John 4:7, 9-10 NIV)

Jesus’ example shows us that God’s view of our world consists of only two categories of people—those who know Jesus and those who need to know Jesus. This sounds simplistic, but it has eternal implications. Viewing our world through God’s lenses makes us aware of and respond to “divine appointments.”

We are most comfortable being around people who are like-minded. However, there can be people who check the same boxes as we do, but also need to know Jesus. All earthly categories, ideologies, and social/political positions will one day burn up, but people’s souls have an eternal destiny—Heaven or Hell.

That was Jesus’ concern when He reached out to this person who did not check any of His boxes (except for possibly one). Should we ignore His example or follow it?

Stop and Consider . . .

Next, Part 5: Sin, Accept or Address?

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