Can we try to find a little of “us” in “them”?

I have had a discouraging, anxiety filled week. I have been so broken hearted over the election.  And no, it’s not because Romney didn’t win. Instead, it’s because of the hateful attacks that I have seen thrown around by the Christian community.  Attacks aimed at fellow Christians, fellow citizens, people on gov’t assistance, and even aimed at me, personally because I am an independent. It’s not that I haven’t been on the outside before.  Going to a Liberal university, I was mocked and ridiculed in nearly every class for my decision to be a stay-at-home-mom.  But that didn’t hurt as badly. I didn’t know those people. They weren’t my community.

But these past few days, my own community of fellow Christians have turned on me, and my heart has been broken. I’ve shed many tears, and been incredibly discouraged and disheartened to see my facebook feed filled with fellow Christians attacking one another, attacking those on gov’t assistance, attacking “them.”

But what we don’t realize with such attacks is that there is a lot of “us” in “them.” The key to having compassion toward others is to find some of “us” in “them.”(<–Tweet This)

I was reading a book for grad school last night, and the main character was in WWII.  A group of Japanese soldiers was lined up and he and the other US Soldiers were ordered to shoot. But he couldn’t. Because in that moment, he noticed how much they looked like him. He saw his uncle in their faces. The conclusion was that he was hallucinating, but I don’t think so. He just finally saw them and realized we’re not all that different.

The truth is that we are all born sinners. All of us. No exceptions. In Ephesians 2:1-10, Paul invites us to remember, “As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins…all of us lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our flesh.” There is no “us” and “them” when it comes to sin. We have ALL sinned. Paul goes on in that same passage to say we are saved by grace so no one can boast. We have all been on the outside.

God’s word tells us that man looks on the outward appearance, but God looks on the heart. If we look past the outward appearance, past the labels, past the divisions, past the sins and differences, then I believe our eyes would be opened to see the heart, and to see like Christ-with compassion, love, grace, and mercy.. (<–Tweet This) 

It’s so easy for us to sit in judgment and think that we have nothing in common with “the other,” But even God, when He looks at us can see common ground.  In His unrivaled holiness and perfection, contrasted with our depravity, He can look at us and see at the base, His image, because that’s how we are created—ALL of us, in his image (Gen 1:27).

As servants of Christ, we have to look past labels. We have to start looking for a little bit of “us” in “them” until there is no “us” and “them” only us. Humanity that God created in His image, and souls that Christ died for.

Comments

  1. A. Bassett says

    Thank you for this. It is encouraging to see this kind of post, and maybe it is a bit of what I expected and wanted to read on the several women’s blogs I subscribe to. I found you yesterday after reading comments on another blog, and without going into specifics, I loved your responses. I subscribe to blogs for encouragement. Encouragement as a mother, wife and daughter of Christ. I subscribe to grow in my faith. I appreciate your inclusion of everyone, regardless of political affiliation in your post. After all, we are all children of God.

    • Crystal says

      Thank you so much for the kind words Amy! I really appreciate your support and am glad you found encouragement here.

  2. says

    This is a wonderful post, Crystal. I, too, have seen the attacks and it is ugly. I woke up broken-hearted the day after the election because of the division it has caused in my own (extended) family and because the “redefinition of marriage” will become law in my state on the 1st of the year. It is so sad on so many levels.
    But I take hope by remembering God’s Word in it all, to try to see things through the “spiritual lens of Jesus Christ.” You have made such a good point, that there is a little of us in every other person.
    God bless you.

    • Crystal says

      Stacie, I’m sorry that your state suffered such a blow :( I just keep praying for this to blow over, and for people to get out of election/politics mode and back to treating one another with decency.

  3. Cate says

    I subscribe your site via email. I got this in my inbox and I was pleasantly surprised. Though I signed up to subscribe for your budgeting and meal planning posts, I’ve come to really respect you as a person (though I don’t know you!). :)

    • Crystal says

      Cate, thank you so much taking the time to leave your kind words! It really means a lot. I’ll be back to budgeting and meal planning after my 21 Day Discipline Challenge is over. I’m stock piling lots of post ideas. I didn’t realize how much I would miss posting about other things.

  4. Jill says

    Thank you for such a fair and kind post. I have been just astounded at the number of bloggers that I would describe as kind, good-hearted, thoughtful Christian woman who have just gone half-cocked and berserk in their posts after the election. Some were so hateful that I had to unsubscribe as a follower.

    It IS sad – sad when one day turns so many people into judgmental, angry, spiteful loons! My grandmother couldn’t believe it either. She said in her day, when your candidate didn’t win, you were upset for a little while but then everyone remembered that we’re the UNITED States of America and you banded together with your neighbors anyway for the common good, even if you didn’t like the guy in charge.

    Whatever happened to that?? This was such a refreshing post – thank you!

  5. Lindsey says

    I, too, have been horrified and injured by some of the posts on the few blogs I read each day. I now refuse to talk to anyone but my husband about politics, because it leads to unkindness—from those who disagree toward me, and from those who agree with me toward “others.” Now when someone says things about the election I say, “No matter who won, what I find astounding is that we had a black man and a Mormon running and in general that was okay with people. One side did not murder the other with hatchets, shots were not fired at polling places. And if the office of the most powerful man on the planet had changed hands, it would have been peacefully. That is the grace of this country, not who actually wins. (Never mind that we had two family men who clearly adore their wives and who have raised polite children. Sometimes I think I can’t even find two men like that in my own church!)

  6. says

    Love is the way to go, especially when people hurt you. It is the path to living a victorious Christian life. May God grant us all grace to love like He says!
    Visiting from Titus Tuesday, have a super blessed day!
    Love

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