Diminishing Differences

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Where are the good guys? 

Where are the bad guys?

Who can tell?

And does it matter that we can or can’t tell?

Yesterday we tried to get rid of “them.” Not in an attempt to send anyone away, but in an attempt to diminish the differences between those who are in the Kingdom of God and those who are in the world. We tried to get rid of a way of thinking that divides and separates — that puts Christians in a separate camp and pits them against the world.

Think of it in the way Jesus taught His disciples to think:

Here is another story Jesus told: “The Kingdom of Heaven is like a farmer who planted good seed in his field. But that night as the workers slept, his enemy came and planted weeds among the wheat, then slipped away. When the crop began to grow and produce grain, the weeds also grew.

“The farmer’s workers went to him and said, ‘Sir, the field where you planted that good seed is full of weeds! Where did they come from?’

“‘An enemy has done this!’ the farmer exclaimed.

“‘Should we pull out the weeds?’ they asked.

“‘No,’ he replied, ‘you’ll uproot the wheat if you do. Let both grow together until the harvest. Then I will tell the harvesters to sort out the weeds, tie them into bundles, and burn them, and to put the wheat in the barn.’”

“Let them both grow together.” That is the way God wanted it done. We carry on alongside unbelievers, not always knowing who is who, but that’s not our job anyway; that’s the job of angels (harvesters) at the harvest (Judgment Day). So we grow together. It’s a brilliant plan.

God did not plant His Kingdom in a separate part of the field. He scattered it all over, and He let the weeds grow up around it, and told His servants not to weed the garden.

We are not here to weed the world of bad influences. We are here to enhance the garden — to do God’s work in the world, and to do it right alongside everyone else.

God planted Joseph in the royal court of Pharaoh. He grew up alongside the Pharaoh — second only to him in power — from where he was able to eventually bless his family out of the riches of Egypt.

Where has He placed you in the world? Who are you alongside?

Where are the good guys?  Everywhere.

Where are the bad guys? Everywhere.

Who can tell? Only God.

And does it matter that we can or can’t tell? No.

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6 Responses to Diminishing Differences

  1. Mark Seguin says:

    Loved this great point:Where are the good guys? Everywhere.
    Where are the bad guys? Everywhere.
    Who can tell? Only God.
    And does it matter that we can or can’t tell? No.

  2. Tim says:

    Kind of makes a good argument to not send you children to a “Christian” college.

  3. Marc says:

    That is so true, John. We have no right to judge those outside. For us in the Church are part of the Fellowship of the Broken. There is not one of us who has it all together, and Paul mentions this in 1 Corinthians 1: 26-31. It’s a little off topic, but there are two movies that powerfully put forward the idea of the Fellowship of the Broken. One is “Because of Winn-Dixie.”

    The other is “Seabiscuit.” I dare you to watch this clip without bursting into tears:

    We are all broken creatures waiting to be fixed, and sometimes we fix each other, as the Seabiscuit clip shows.

  4. As Christians we must, now more than ever, heed the call of our Lord to be His hands and feet as we engage with the hurting, the marginalized, the dispossessed, the disillusioned, the heroes, the villains, the “good” guys, the “bad” guys, the enemies, and the other “thems” that we hold at arms length from the “us’s”.
    In a confused and chaotic world we need to remind ourselves that “we are Christ’s ambassadors” and that “God is making His appeal through us.” (2 Cor. 5:20)
    But we can’t do that if we don’t grow up in the same field as the “weeds”.
    We must swallow our political pride and drop the separatist baggage that encumbers us, alienates others (the “thems”), and pollutes the Living water Jesus offers. Then, with Christ’s compassion, we must love, love, love and serve one another and our nation as He guides us.
    In many instances, in all humility and love for our Lord and for our “neighbors” (whether they be friendly or disagreeable), we may probably have to turn the other cheek – several times perhaps – as we’re slapped down, and walk the extra mile(s) – for that is every Christian’s calling in life.
    We must be the tenders of peaceable pastures, not the sowers of destructiveness.

    Besides, sunflower seeds and dandelion greens make up a delightful salad! 🙂

  5. hahimes says:

    I just love what you share and how you share it, John! So welcoming, so inviting and inclusive. God’s love is for ALL…each and every one; it is so good to hear (read!) it proclaimed. Thank you.

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