We have stopped evaluating others from a human point of view.
~ 2 CORINTHIANS 5:16 [NLT]
Label Them or Love Them?
Categorizing others creates distance and gives us a convenient exit strategy for avoiding involvement.
Jesus took an entirely different approach. He was all about including people, not excluding them. “The Word became flesh and blood, and moved into the neighborhood” (John 1:14 MSG). Jesus touched lepers and loved foreigners and spent so much time with partygoers that people called him a “lush, a friend of the riffraff” (Matthew 11:19 MSG). Racism couldn’t keep him from the Samaritan woman; demons couldn’t keep him from the demoniac. His Facebook page included the likes of Zacchaeus the Ponzi-meister, Matthew the IRS agent, and some floozy he met at Simon’s house. Jesus spent thirty-three years walking in the mess of this world. “He had equal status with God but didn’t think so much of himself that he had to cling to the advantages of that status no matter what. Not at all. When the time came, he set aside the privileges of deity and took on the status of a slave, became human!” (Philippians 2:6–7 MSG). . . .
God calls us to change the way we look at people. Not to see them as Gentiles or Jews, insiders or outsiders, liberals or conservatives. Not to label. To label is to libel. “We have stopped evaluating others from a human point of view” (2 Corinthians 5:16 NLT).
Let’s view people differently; let’s view them as we do ourselves. Blemished, perhaps. Unfinished, for certain.
In our lifetimes you and I are going to come across some discarded people. Tossed out. Sometimes tossed out by a church. And we get to choose. Neglect or rescue? Label them or love them? We know Jesus’ choice. Just look at what he did with us.
Precious Savior, change the way we look at people. Forgive us for categorizing and classifying others. We have failed you by labeling people and keeping them at a distance. When you walked here on earth you reached out to all people, even the lepers and sinners. You came near to outcasts and misfits, and you touched them with love. Teach us to walk in the mess of the world like you did, breaking down barriers and reaching out with a helping hand, amen.
Love does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked.
~ 1 CORINTHIANS 13:5
As we have opportunity, let us do good to all. GALATIANS 6:10 Everyone who loves is born of God and knows God.
~ 1 JOHN 4:7