FOMO PART 5 “Fear of the Other” (THRIVE Service)
You’re walking across a parking lot at night. You see your car just ahead and walk toward it. But you also notice the dark figure of a man who is standing in between you and your car. The fear is real. Instinctively, you begin to walk a little faster and clutch your keys a little tighter.
We have a built-in instinct to be distrustful of those whom we perceive as being “them” rather than “us.” It’s a survival instinct embedded in our DNA. In prehistoric times, this is what kept us safe. In our current age, it’s what keeps us in fear.
We live in a culture of mistrust and distrust. The fracturing of our culture has resulted in aligning ourselves in smaller and smaller groups of those who think like we do and act like we do.
Jesus is always trying to expand our notion of who is our brother and sister. Jesus pushes us to rethink how and who we choose to love. It’s easy to love the people we like and who are like us. How do we love those who are not like us? How do we love those we disagree with?
“If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? And if you greet only your own people, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that?”
A lot of us think being a Christian is relatively easy. Be nice, be kind, do the right thing and play by the rules. But the more we understand Jesus the harder it becomes.
Love our enemies? Not on your life.
This is hard stuff.
But it’s real.
It’s almost like Jesus is talking about us and the divided, polarized, tribal world we’re living in right now.