Relating to the Rascals
I like being with people who are like me. It’s easier being with like-minded people—comfortable and conflict free. But I leaned to also be energized by people outside my comfort zone. The Bible teaches that our inner circle of friends and advisors should be like minded spiritually, but our focus on serving others should extend well past these borders. When you study the game film on Jesus he is constantly breaking the rules that say who He should be spending time with. Many times the disciples can’t handle the freedom with which He moves and operates in his service. Jesus is not bound by culture; He is not tethered to the opinions of men. Instead, He’s guided by compassion.
When it comes to whom you serve, the real test is not when you are with friends or family—it’s when you are with “foreigners”—culturally, socially or spiritually (although sometimes our own family seems foreign.) In that case our King was countercultural. Let’s see: women, kids, prostitutes, tax collectors, sinners, drunks, and lepers (to name a few) He honored with his presence, encouragement and help. These were the people others threw money at but never sacrificed time and energy. Abraham Hechel said it this way in A Passion of Truth, “The test of love is how one relates not to saints and scholars but to rascals.” Jesus was definitely drawn to the rascals, and because He belonged only to the Father.
Father, help me remember it’s not about my comfort, but about the comfort of others.