I’m amazed by how evil and unchristian like many people can be… in this world. It’s shocking to me to witness the amount of what my Pastor calls, “Christianity Immaturity” in the heart of the bible belt. I see hypocrisy, lack of brotherly affection and evil schemes being planned behind closed doors in southeast Tennessee… Lack of love, unkind behavior, arrogance and much pride seems to be an epidemic among many people in the south. Inhospitable people, I say. At least, I see this towards hispanics.
It has been almost three years and I’m still feeling like an outsider in here. The things that I hear and don’t hear sometimes is literally unbelievable. I don’t think you would believe if I told you, actually. Perhaps, things are different in the city of Atlanta, GA. That’s my hope. Tennessee isn’t a welcoming state, that’s for sure… unfortunately.
In Romans 12:10 we read, “Love does no wrong to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfilling of the law.” In Hebrews 13:2, we are reminded to, “Not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for thereby some have entertained angels unawares.” Ephesians 4:32 reads, “Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.” “Greet one another with a holy kiss. All the churches of Christ greet you,” Romans 16:16… Sometimes I feel people want to hit me with a baseball bat and see me suffering around here.
Thankfully, there is hope against much adversity. In James 1:12, it is written, “Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love him.”
Christlike behavior isn’t demeaning. Christlike behavior isn’t unkind. Christlike behavior isn’t self-centered. Christlike behavior isn’t ambitious to the point of isolating a Christian brother or sister for self gain. Christlike behavior is based on the figure of Jesus Christ and how he treated others above himself.
If you claim to be a Christian, treat people with respect and don’t be partial. It is a sin to stop speaking with people because of what others may think (or do) to you. We need to be people with principles and character. “But if you show partiality, you are committing sin and are convicted by the law as transgressors.” The former advice found in James 2:9 is clear cut about how we should communicate with others.
My hope? God. Always…