Personalizing life

I’m going to simplify your life today: Life is full of people we

I’m going to announce that the new word for Christian is Tim. And in similar manner:

The new word for single mom is Barbara.
The new word for homosexual is Bob.
The new word for secular humanist is George.
The new word for right-wing Republican is Larry.
The new word for left-wing Democrat is Sarah.

More than black and white, there is Sally. Rather than right and wrong there is Jason. Instead of Jews and Gentiles, there is Aaron and Will. Instead of teenage pregnancy there is Pam. Instead of abortion, there is Alison.

Do you see what’s happening here? We are personalizing life. This is how God wants us to get along in the world — surrounded by people we know. And the more people we know, the less important and the less effective labels become.

This goes for our enemies as well. Jesus told us to love our enemies — that would probably mean we would know their names. You can’t love a group or a category; you love individuals, and individuals have names.

People make labels inadequate. The more you know a person, the less it becomes possible to wrap a label around them. A person is always more complex than their description, and we have relationships with people, not concepts.
This is all important because relationships are the key to life. God is a relationship in and of Himself. “Let us make mankind in our likeness” (Genesis 1:26). He made us to broaden that relationship so that we might all be one.

Enrich your life: get more names in it. It will simplify everything.

The new word for atheist is …

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4 Responses to Personalizing life

  1. Not sure if this has been weighing heavy on anyone elses mind/heart, but I’m having a real hard time loving ISIS about now. They take “love your enemy” to a new level… yet not unlike many of the “enemies” in the old Testament.

    • Markus says:

      The most difficult thing about loving our enemies is to acknowledge the positive aspects of a person, without ignoring the negative aspects for the sake of protecting the innocent. This is also the reason why I am not a pacifist. I do believe that we are obliged to love our enemies, but I do not believe that we are obliged to simply stand by when the same enemy is hurting other people whom we are also supposed to love. Just think of Jesus who became very violent when he attacked the money lenders in the temple. I am sure that he still loved them, but I am also sure that he caused some very real physical bruises on that day. This is an extremely difficult path to treat on though. Violence, even righteous violence tends to nurture hate, but it does not have to be that way.

  2. Gary Olson says:

    A phrase shared by a wise, older saint really captures the essence of the gospel and how (I believe) we are to see ourselves in relation to our “neighbors”…
    “The ground is level at the foot of
    The Cross”

  3. Mark Seguin says:

    Plz dont feel alone kfd&p regarding trying to love the group ISIS – I don’t love what they’re doing & represent, yet i’m trying to love them as fellow human beings and as children of God and asking Jesus to help me in doing that…

    i’ll answer this: “The new word for atheist is …” Me, or Mark Seguin simply because i now try hard to show and give respect for anyone’s feelings and to tell them that – also to ask them questions try to understand why they feel a need to consider themselves as that – and i think/believe i can somewhat relate to them after this 2nd stroke last month… for it’s testing my faith, which i still have – plz dont get me wrong – its just i think & believe I can relate to others more… 🙂
    PS thx 4 sharing that great phrase Gary O!

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