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Friday, September 18, 2015

Abiding The Differences

This is Tony the cat (hi Tony!)
Of the many cats that I've boarded over the years, he is the most loving.  When the dogs are outside and I let him out to stretch and explore, he immediately rolls onto his side for some affection.

Tony also has a thing for water.  Basically, he likes to drink from any bowl (or bucket) that is not HIS water bowl.  He also is fascinated by the hose that fills the water pitcher.  Fascinated.

Some may call Tony weird.  After all, he has a water bowl.  Isn't that good enough for him?  Does Tony have boundary issues?  Tony is NOT following the normal order of things.

Maybe you know people like Tony. Maybe you are Tony.  One doesn't have to look far to notice others have their own way of doing things, and some of them are pretty weird.  There's a lot of uniqueness in the world, and it may make someone uneasy to experience differences.

It reminded me of our pastor's sermon from this past week.  He challenged us to seek people who think, look, and act differently from our norm.  Wait, what?  Leave my comfort zone?  Where did THAT come from?

Oh, you know.  Galatians.  Galatians 2:11 to be more specific.  If you don't know it, there's this guy named Paul going to see his friend Peter.  They have been busy telling people all about Jesus and giving them good news for freedom and forgiveness.  But Peter started to feel some peer pressure and went back to his old ways.  Somehow bearing another's differences suddenly felt unsafe.  Let's just say Paul set him straight.

It's easily done.  We talk a big game about being accepting and tolerating.  Then we encounter someone and love flies out the window.  Dealing with others can be messy.  And difficult.  And really uncomfortable.  

Which is great, because God really likes to work in those situations when we are not in control and all-knowing.  We can still stand on truth and all that good stuff.  But learning from others, and them learning from our own brokenness and imperfections, is the humble attitude where we can be naturally supernatural.

So don't be afraid.  Get out there and be challenged and may God go before you.

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