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Archive for October, 2013

“They’re not coming, mommy.”  My daughter sat in the car sobbing.

“Why not, honey?” I had never seen my daughter so upset.  It was her ninth birthday and her year to have a party.

“They are not coming to my birthday party if Georgia is invited.  No one likes her and they told me to un-invite her or else they won’t come.”

“What did you tell them?” my heart ached.  How rude of her friends to put her in that position.

“I told them I couldn’t do that.  Then she would feel left out if everyone else was invited and she would be un-invited.”

“I know that it was a hard decision for you, but it was the right one.  Remember what happened to Jesus when he went to the house of the tax collector Matthew?  The religious leaders criticized Jesus for eating with those who were not liked.  Jesus told them that he came to reach out to those who needed Him and extend the love they were not receiving from them.  Matthew eventually became a disciple of Jesus.  You may be the only “Jesus” Georgia will ever see.  You are treating her just like Jesus would and your friends are acting like the Pharisees.  I am proud of you.  Keep taking that stand and if your friends don’t come because of it, it will be their lost.”

I have thought about that conversation in relation to myself and other adults.  I have caught myself saying “I don’t want her at my table because she seems weird.”  In ministry people have come up to me and said I will go in any group you put me in but if so and so is in it place me in another group.”  Most of the time for me the issue is a personality conflict, the person rubs me the wrong way.  But God doesn’t see them any differently than He sees me.  Christ loves me, a sinner, so I am not in a place to judge their hearts.  He created them also, and just as I told my daughter, I may be “Jesus” to them.  I may show His love in ways I never thought I could.

My daughter continued to stand for what was right.  No one from her class including Georgia attended, only two friends from church.  But she had a great time with them and her parents who thanked God for her courage.

How about you?  Do you treat others differently because their personalities cause you to cringe?

It can be hard to love them as Christ loves them.  However, God doesn’t play favorites and neither should we.

“My command is this:  Love each other as I have loved you.” John 15:12 (NIV 1984)

*reprint of an article I wrote in May 2010 for Purpose Sunday School Periodical.

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