There are only a few things that can truly get under my skin. This is one of them. I had a conversation this week with someone who said:
We don’t have people like that around here.
I guess she didn’t know who she was talking to- we are people like that.
I had another conversation sometime ago with a different person.
We have to be careful with those people in the building.
Umm- again, I am one of those people.
I realize that sometimes people just don’t think about what they say. I am sure neither one meant any harm. The reason these comments bother me is judgement- we are being considered less than or as outsiders.
Those people are no different than you and I. Some of us are in recovery. Some of us are suffering from depression. Others may have been hurt- by the church, family or just life. We are everywhere. We are part of life.
Jesus loved every person. The woman at the well, who would have been “one of those people,”the tax collector who took people’s money, and the beggar who must have smelled something awful. They were not those people.
How does it make you feel to know that the person sitting behind you in church may fit in one of these categories? Does it make you uncomfortable that there are people around you who have been hurt by the church? What if you knew who was in recovery? Would you judge?
The conversation from this week made me think. Why would anyone be afraid of me? Did I offend you because I was honest about being one of those people? What if I was talking to one of you and sharing my story?
We need to break free of the judgement that keeps us disconnected. Fellowship depends on relationship. Relationships grow in acceptance. We all need people- but we don’t need to be separated in judgement.
Please understand, I am not offended by these comments. They irritate me, but I choose to use them to help rather than hurt. I am one of those people!