Love Those Who Are Different

If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that?  And if you greet only your own people, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that? Matthew 5:46-47 (NIV)

Do you have a friend who loves to eat at the same restaurant?  You make recommendations about other places, but they still prefer to eat at their familiar destination.  Is eating at the same restaurant wrong?  Not necessarily.  It’s safe and predictable to eat at the same restaurant.  You know exactly what you are getting and ordering is effortless because you are familiar with the process.  The problem is that when you intentionally avoid certain restaurants, you miss out on the other amazing experiences in your city or state.

It can feel comfortable and predictable when you hang out with people who are just like you.  But let’s look at what the Bible has to say and think about this in reference to race relations.  The verse above tells us that if we only love and greet our own people, how different are we than anyone else?  Let’s be clear.  The Bible doesn’t say that we shouldn’t love our own people.  The problem arises when we only show love to our own people.  You will miss out on the amazing experiences that other cultures have to offer.  Furthermore, people will be able to tell whether or not you are a follower of Christ by your love (see the verse below).  How can you show love to someone different than yourself today?

“By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” John 13:35 (NIV)