By Kelly Carr
Oftentimes we focus on the things that are not rather than the things that are: Those are not the words I use. That is not the food I eat. This is not the music I listen to. Those are not the clothes I wear.
We are tempted to define people by what is different rather than what is the same: They look different from me. They speak with a different accent than I do. They have different hobbies than I’m used to. They have completely different opinions than the people I spend time with.
But in doing so, we neglect the powerful things we all have in common: Everyone feels lonely. Everyone gets intimidated. Everyone wants to belong. Everyone wants to be loved. Everyone is searching for peace in the depth of their souls. Everyone is made in the image of God.
Yes, it’s harder to remember these invisible qualities we all share. When the world is filled with reasons we should be divided based on our exterior, it’s easy to let our minds be swayed. It takes more energy to stop and go against the flow. It takes more time to get to know someone and consider the internal characteristics we all share.
Why can’t we stay where it’s comfortable and easy to categorize others? Why must we go beyond and discover the depth beneath the differences?
Because of that beautiful quality we have in common: Everyone is made in the image of God. Everyone. He made us all. He loves us all. He offers salvation to us all. He calls us all to love one another. That’s our job.
Stop making excuses. I’m talking to me, to you, to the person next to you in the pew, to the small group leaders, to the social media screamers, to the people who voted left, right, and sideways. Stop dividing. Start inviting others into your life.
It’s the most difficult simple message there is: Jesus is for everyone. We’ve got to start living like we believe it.