Separating ourselves

Yesterday I posted about people who walk a trail from low income housing to a grocery store.  A lot of people read and shared it.  I said that the people we avoid are people Jesus would have gone out of His way to interact with.  Now, let me be clear, Scripture tells us to avoid people or things that cause us to stumble ourselves.  If you are a recovering alcoholic, 6 months clean, you should not go pass out Bible tracts outside the liquor store.  But for most of us, that is not why we avoid “the least of these”.

When Jesus interacted with people, He called them to a changed life.  He called them to sell everything if their money and possessions were their god.  He heard out sinners and then called them to “leave your life of sin” and “stop sinning or something worse may happen to you“.  It is the balancing act in telling people that Jesus desires that they turn from their sin, but doing so out of a genuine love and concern for them.  When Jesus had something to say, He said things TO people, not about them.  The best chance of seeing people turn to Jesus is by interacting with them, often even developing a relationship with them.  When Jesus wanted to reach Zacchaeus the tax collector, He did not rebuke Zacchaeus when He saw him up in the tree.  He said, “Come down, Zacchaeus. Let us go to your house.”  Which means we must hang around with the least of these, not looking down on them, but remembering and helping them understand the only difference between us and them is the forgiveness through the grace of God which we have accepted through Jesus Christ.

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