I was prejudice

Posted: October 17, 2011 in Cool Stuff just for you

I was thinking of how things have changed so much in my life over the last 5 years.  Nothing is the same.  Amy and I will celebrate our birthdays next week and we are going to do a podcast on five things we have learned aobut life in our 46 years on this planet.  In reflection I was avoiding the negative things and pondering the positive.  It’s important to do that.  It’s now so bad to look back at what we “should have done” as long as we don’t dwell there.  Living in the past taints the future.  

I thought of how it used to be, five years ago, that most of my friends were people that I worked with, went to church with and served as a pastor.  I really didn’t know anyone outside of this circle, and I was comfortable with that.  I had my own boxed in thinking and thought it was where I was supposed to be.  In hindsight, it was a narrow and unhealthy place to be.  You see it is the rich and diverse population on this planet that we can really learn and stretch our thinking with.  Many times I used to think I knew what people thought about the Bible, different social issues and the like, but I only thought I knew.  I didn’t have conversations with anyone that didn’t really believe the same as I did.  So I was guessing at best.  I had been sold a bill of goods that people who didn’t go to church were evil, bad and corrupt and that they would lead me astray.  Boy was I wrong. 

The hard part is that some of the people I was going to church with acted one way to my face, but were far worse than any of those supposed “others” that weren’t in our little circle.  It’s not how you look on the outside that really matters.  It’s what is on the inside. 

Over the many years I have been in the workforce I have had some really great bosses, and I have also had some really bad, mentally messed up ones as well.  You can’t judge a person by what type of profession they are in.   You have to look at the fruit of their life and how they treat people in order to know the really story, what they are really like.  The supposed Christian bosses I worked for were far more volatile than the ones that didn’t profess their Christianity with bravado.

Prejudice stalled my life.  It stalled it for 20 years.  Five years ago my whole world opened up because of the Internet and joining up with a forum called Treks in Sci Fi.  I met a group of very diverse people that I would normally never would have been friends with.  I found out that just because someone doesn’t label themselves Christian doesn’t mean they don’t know God, or aren’t interested in him.  Many of the folks I have met now are very interested in exploring their spirituality, just not so interested in jumping through the hoops of organized religion.  Before, I would have written them off.. I was prejudice.  You wouldn’t see me with gay friends, or atheist friends, or (insert label here) friends. Honestly, it is a real problem in Christianity.  We are all afraid of others, like what other people believe is going to hurt us or sway us away from our faith.  Nothing could be further from the truth. I have found much more acceptance  of my Jesus beliefs outside of the church than in it!  

My life is MUCH more balanced and even though religious folks aren’t so happy with me because I dare to question our methods and attitude of government, I’ve been able to have some incredible conversations about life, faith and living with awesome people that I have learned so much from.  I wouldn’t trade it back. Yeah, if I ever pastor again, the church I do it at would have to be a lot more open to being less religious and more real. 

This is why I love Jesus.  I want to be more like him.  He spent his time with people that were labeled bad, corrupt and worldly, yet was doing exactly what he was supposed to do.  He wasn’t afraid of getting tainted by real life and the circumstances that go with it.  He didn’t care if he was labeled and guilty by association.  He got his hands dirty instead of making other do it for him to support his “vision”  He was more concerned about the people than their position or status.  May God grant me that even if it means I’m not accepted in the organized church.  May I be an example of love, grace and God to others in a real practical way.  I don’t have to pick up a picket sign or shove a Bible down anyone’s throat.  I can live my faith through my everyday life and love people the way God does. If I do that, then my life will be the biggest billboard ever.   

How many people do you really know outside of your little circle?  Change it up and make a new friend(s) Some that don’t believe the same way you do.  Take a walk out of the rabbit hole and see what’s around you.  Make a difference.

I refuse to keep living a stalled life of prejudice. I want to be free to be all who God created me to be in a world full of wonderful people and opportunities.

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