We’re Talking People Here

The conversation eventually got around to those people. You know, those people that the Bible says are sinners. Except that, those in the group expressing that dislike of the group of those people didn’t stop to consider that they are also “those people”–people who sin.

They don’t recognize that “those people” is actually just a label used to refer to people sharing a trait of some sort.

Those people, that group, is actually composed of individual people. Struggling individual people. Each with their own story. Each with their own needs.

Marketing people have found it useful to group people with similar interests in order to target a message promoting their product or service.

But followers of Jesus? Indeed, Jesus himself? He didn’t group people. He dealt with individual people, people who were hurting, people who needed the encouragement to live a fulfilled life, people who needed healing.

Maybe a Samaritan woman. Maybe a Roman army officer. Maybe even a Pharisee or two.

And I? I remained silent. Allowing the stereotype of a group of “those people” to go unchallenged. Rather than pointing out that I have friends and relatives among “those people”. Friends and relatives who need someone to reach out with friendship, understanding, yes, even love.

They do not need the accusing finger pointed at them by a self-righteous, if well-meaning, person.

Love your neighbor, Jesus said. Who is our neighbor? Our neighbor is that individual person we meet along the way.

Make this also a lesson for me to take care about grouping people. Each is an individual.

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