Relating to those Different from Us

Relating to those Different from Us

October 31

"The Samaritan woman said to him, ‘You are a Jew and I am a Samaritan woman. How can you ask me for a drink?’" (John 4:9).

Do you find it difficult to relate to others who are different than you? Do you shy away from interacting with those who may have a different belief?

Jesus interacted with his culture and especially those who thought differently than He. When Jesus met the Samaritan woman at the well it was much like a Christian speaking to a Muslim or a Jew speaking to a Palestinian. Jesus built a relationship with the woman instead of taking an adversarial position.

In order to influence our culture it is vital believers engage with those unlike us. We often assume others who come from other cultures do not want to engage with us. This is a deception from Satan. Many who grow up in other faiths do so as a cultural tradition, not because they have strongly held beliefs. For instance, many Muslims do not know what is in the Quran and simply believe what they are taught based on tradition.

Every person is looking for a genuine relationship with God. Jesus operated based on that assumption. Notice how Jesus engaged with the woman.

"Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give him will never thirst. The woman said to him, "Sir, give me this water so that I won’t get thirsty and have to keep coming here to draw water." He told her, "Go, call your husband and come back." "I have no husband," she replied. Jesus said to her, "You are right when you say you have no husband. The fact is, you have had five husbands, and the man you now have is not your husband. What you have just said is quite true." "Sir," the woman said, "I can see that you are a prophet (John 4: 13-19).

Once Jesus established a rapport with the woman He began to engage with her. He spoke supernaturally into her life which broke through the religious spirit which prevented a theological debate. This led to faith in Christ and even the city being impacted.

Why not seek out a relationship with someone different from yourself. You’ll be surprised how God might use you.

A debased word

A debased word
Romans 2
"… not realizing that God’s kindness leads you toward repentance?" (v.4)

We continue looking at counterfeit forms of kindness. Kindness is not indulgence. Supernatural kindness can be severe — severe because it loves so deeply that it can come up with a hard refusal. It is based on God’s kindness, which can cut when, just like a surgeon, He insists on cutting out of us moral tumors that threaten our spiritual health. But always God’s severity is our security. It is redemptive; He loves us too much to let us go. Kindness, which is the fruit of the Spirit, is like that.

Again, kindness is not a substitute for clear thinking. In being "kind" to one person, people can often be unkind to another. The wrong kindness — that is, kindness which does not operate on clear guidelines and right thinking — can deride justice. For example, a businessman remarked to his wife that he was dismissing the chauffeur on the grounds that he was an unsafe driver. "He nearly killed me today," he said. "That is the third time." His "kind" wife answered: "Oh, don’t dismiss him, dear — give him one more chance."Another example of misguided kindness comes out of the law courts. A woman on trial for murdering her husband was acquitted chiefly because of the efforts of one "kind" lady on the jury. Explaining her attitude to someone after the trial, she said: "I felt so sorry for her. After all, she had become a widow." By such examples as these, "kindness" has become a debased word — a fact that can hardly be denied. People have found it easier to be "kind" than truthful. Howdesperately the word cries out to be redeemed.

Prayer:
O God, take my hand and lead me through the fog and confusion that surrounds this word. Help me understand that true kindness can be a cutting kindness — kindness that gives life and not lenience. Amen.

For Further Study
Isaiah 63:1-9; Psalms 17
1. What was the psalmist’s testimony?
2. Out of what does God’s loving kindness flow?

Reason #5: Stop The Incompetence. Stop Mark Dayton.

Dayton’s incompetence has created problems that will only continue if given a second term. Considering all the failed policies Dayton has passed, this one was downright horrifying.

Reason #5: Signed a law making it harder to investigate abuse reports

The Dayton administration issued guidance to local child protection services and social workers in 2012 and then passed it into law in 2014. This policy made it harder to investigate reported cases of abuse. All the while, in Minnesota 71% of child maltreatment cases are screened out and not investigated.

  1. “The Legislature overwhelmingly approved a bill that forbids county child protection agencies from considering past abuse reports that were rejected when deciding whether to investigate a new report.” (Star Tribune, 9/8/14)
  2. “The state’s top child protection official wants to scrap a law her agency helped pass four months ago that made it more difficult for social workers to investigate maltreatment cases.” (Star Tribune, 9/8/14)
  3. “Four legislators told the Star Tribune on Monday they did not know what they were voting for in May.” (Star Tribune, 9/8/14)
  4. “When the screening law was passed, Cletus Maychrzak, a member of the Hennepin County Child Protection Citizen Review Panel, said he was ‘horrified.'” (Star Tribune, 10/14/14)

Mark Dayton’s incompetence is creating problems and he is shrugging off responsibility for his failed leadership. Stop the incompetence and stop Mark Dayton by voting early in person and volunteering for Team GOP!

“Disobedience is the true foundation of liberty. The obedient must be slaves.”~Thoreau

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