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Us vs. Them

July 22, 2014

You can’t deny that as you scroll through your social media feeds on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc, you find yourself comparing your life to those around you.  I know I do it.  And I know I’m not the only one who does.  On the beach yesterday, I listened to the 2nd sermon in Tullian Tchividjian’s Roman’s series, he addresses the comparative nature of our society, saying, “So much of our identity is wrapped up in thinking we’re better than others.”  We tell ourselves, ‘Well, I’m better off than that person, so I’m doing fine.’  The comparative nature of our society is so toxic.  It creates a vicious cycle within ourselves that is destructive to ourselves and to the relationships in our lives.

Scrolling through my own Facebook feed this week, a number of the Christian women I’m friends with re-posted an article titled “Three Immodestly Dressed Women Walk Into a Church”.  So many people post and re-post different articles about varying social, political, and religious viewpoints, there’s no way to read it all (unless you spend all day doing it).  It can be hard to sort through and decide what to spend time reading, but after so many people re-posted this particular article, I finally caved and read it.  It resonated with what Tchividjian summarized in the sermon I listened to yesterday, but it drew on a particular aspect of it.  Using Romans 1:18-2:11, Tchividjian explained that people inside the church often draw on a self-righteousness and moralistic life-style where judgmental attitudes are rampant.  This is exactly what Kimberley is drawing on in her article; looking at how some people focus on what people wear to church is one aspect of this judgmental lifestyle.  At the end of the day, if we decide to judge someone for what they’re wearing, we’re allowing ourselves to stop looking at our own hearts to figure out what’s really going on with us.  Kimberley even says this at the end of her article: it’s a heart matter.  If you have an issue with what someone else is wearing, look at yourself and figure out why.  Have some compassion for the people around you.  Ask them about their story.  Learn how to listen.

I grew up in a legalistic society where moralism and self-righteousness was rampant.  I thought that things in The South were different, but they’re not.  People do the same things everywhere, but often mask it with different reasons.  In the North, Catholicism explains that your salvation can be earned through works. – just work hard enough and Jesus will bestow His grace on you. In the South, Baptists tell you to just have faith – just walk down the aisle and kneel and give your heart to Jesus.  There’s very few communities that will tell you: it’s NOT ABOUT YOU. It’s about what JESUS DID.

Don’t have an Us vs. Them mentality.  Have an “It’s About the Heart” mentality, and recognize that everyone is hurting just as much you are. Just. As. Much.  And trying to figure out where they fit in.  Just. As. Much.

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