What is your group?
By Mark Dehority
Are you Republican, Democratic, Gay, Straight, Millennial, Boomer, Native American, Hispanic, White, Asian, Methodist, Catholic, Jew, American, Syrian, or Chinese?
We and others choose these names to define us as groups and individuals. None of them are biblical names. These are names the world uses to define us.
Saved and lost
I want to pose two other categories; “saved” and “lost.” These are biblical terms. These are the names Jesus uses to define us.
What if we focused on these two names?
What if in our daily activities; we saw only those that are lost and those that are saved? How would our behavior be different?
If we are lost, we need to be saved. If we are saved we need to save the lost. Jesus is quite clear about our role in the world. I want to note that; I do believe the Holy Spirit is the one doing the saving, but the Holy Spirit works through us and we do have a role.
Save our enemies?
Who does Jesus want us to save? Does Jesus want us to save people we view as racist? Does Jesus want us to save people we view as corrupt? Does Jesus want us to save people who have different political views? Does Jesus want us to save our enemies?
Are there any people Jesus doesn't want us to save?
So, who wants us to leave people unsaved? The evil one doesn't want us to save anybody. The evil one is always looking for ways to deceive us and divide us. The evil one wants us to believe this is not our role. He tells us that we need to manage earthly things. Our pastor can save people. He wants us to focus on groups and differences.
One of the biggest lies that helps separate us is that other groups are somehow less than us. We hear this in political arguments. The people from the other party are not as good as us. They love the country less than us. Lives of people in other groups are worth less than ours.
We must raise ourselves above this logic. We must turn to God in prayer and scripture to answer these questions.
The nut group
There is another group we could be identified with, it is the “nut group.” We could be part of that group that always goes around talking about Jesus, like those that go door-to-door. Jesus talks about people like this Matthew 16: 24-26. It is really, not a bad group.
Even if we don’t go door-to-door God has a plan for us. The Lord will put people with us that need to hear the word.
The questions become: Are we prepared to talk about how Jesus saved us? Are we prepared to share His story and how it changed our lives? Are we ready to save these people? Does it matter who they are?
Mark Dehority, deployed staff member
General Commission on UM Men