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Saturday, September 1, 2012

Conflicted Discomfort

How much does someone's wealth or status affect the way you treat him? (Serendipity Bible, 10th Anniversary Edition, page 934).

There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love (1 John 4:18 NIV).

Much as I dislike it, I have to admit I have a comfort zone that is intruded upon by unusually high or low status people. On those occasions my antenna and anxiety level perceptibly rise. For example, the church I attend has a diverse congregation. In the church there is a former mayor of our city, as well as professionals of all type. Likewise, there are a number of street people in need of a shower. There is no doubt in my mind what is the Christian thing to do—to treat everyone as entirely equal before God and one another. And not only to treat them so (which I can reasonably manage) but to feel so deep within. I have watched with envy and admiration those in the congregation who embrace (literally) all comers. At these times, I frankly don't like myself very much and regret my behavior which takes on the character of abject enslavement to the base and reflexive. It boils down, I think, to a lack of trust. I'm afraid the poor will want my money and that the those of high status will want my obsequiousness (both of which can bring on conflicted discomfort). This occurs despite my knowledge that virtually everyone appreciates simple respect and appreciation and being treated as an equal. This tendency to distrust others (and myself) is a simple reminder that I have a long way to go on my Christian journey.

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