Last week we looked at how we can tie our contentment to our identity as part of a group – political, religious, sporting…whatever. We find identity in a community, and our contentment gets hitched to them for better or worse.
Today we look at the flip-side – basing our contentment on NOT being part of a group.
One of the easiest things to happen when we strongly identify with a group is we see who ‘the other’ is. It quickly reverts into an US vs. THEM mentality.
At least I’m not a member of THAT political party.
At least I’m not a fan of the Calgary Flames.
At least I don’t belong to THAT church.
We find our sense of contentment, of belonging, and security being tied to not merely being IN a certain group – but in demeaning the OTHER.
We can only be successful if THEY fail.
We can only win if THEY lose.
We can only be right if THEY are wrong.
We are content when we can compare ourselves to someone else – and ensure we are better / more right / more successful.
Now we’re not only basing our contentment on some fallible group of sinful humans – but on comparing ourselves to another group we deem more unworthy.
This attempt to find contentment will not only fail – but lead us to pride, arrogance, and contempt for our brothers and sisters.
What group are you glad/proud you’re definitely NOT part of?
What group REALLY gets under your skin?
You KNOW they’re wrong. You know they’re on the wrong side.
You KNOW they support the wrong cause?
Now pray for them.
Pray sincerely that God would show that group his favor.
THat they would see him more.
That they would know him better.
Pray that God would reveal what you can learn from them.
Even if they are the fans of Chelsea Football Club, or people from Toronto, or Democrats, or fans of country music. Whatever.
Help me see your image in those around me
Those I disagree with
Those image-bearers I don’t agree with.
Give me your eyes to see your divinity in everyone I honestly don’t really like
Help me reveal your love to those I disagree with.
You have done so much more for me – and for that I am grateful.