Who are your people? Do you surround yourself with people who are all like you? Or are you one to seek out those who are different?
People can be different from you in a variety of ways: musical tastes, faith, ethnicity, age, and even in their likes and dislikes.
I have the most eclectic group of people my world and I love it that way. Some of my friends are closer to my mother’s age than mine, yet others are the same age as my children. I have friends from a variety of different countries, which opens up a whole world of things to learn. I have friends who live in the city and only use public transit to get from one place to another and friends who live on a farm.
Some of my friends are people I’ve met on social media in the fight against sex trafficking. Now before you fuss at me for no practicing what I preach in internet safety, these friends have come to me through other close friends that I know well. Many of these friends I have still yet to meet face to face, while others like Erin Bishop of the Whatever Girls, I’ve had the privilege of meeting and ministering along side of this year.
You may be asking yourself,
So where is this going?”
The Lord has been pressing upon me how people have a tendency to segregate. We tend to gravitate to our own kind and hide there. As the old saying goes,
Birds of a feather flock together.”
That’s fine every now and then. It’s safe. We don’t have to stretch or step out of our comfort zone when we’re with our own kind. But God never called us to live there, safe. In fact, He called us out, regularly.
Matthew 28:19-20 says,
Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”
If we aren’t encountering people who are different than us, who think differently than us or live differently than us, then we’re failing to fulfill this command. We have to be willing to step out of our comfort zone and trust the Lord will go not only with us, but before us paving the way.
We have to be open to those who are different from us if we expect them to be open to us.
We needn’t worry. God is big enough to take care of Himself and us too. We don’t need to stress over difficult questions others may ask us about our faith or God Himself. We don’t need to be concerned with having all the answers. We know the One who does. When challenged with questions we can’t answer, we just tell them we’ll search it out and get back to them.
It’s okay to feel a little unsteady when you take your first step out there, or even your tenth or twentieth step out. But don’t let the unsteady feeling keep you from stepping. You’re not stepping out alone. Just as Peter stepped out of the boat onto the unfamiliar, Jesus will be there with you [Matthew 14:25-31].
Well? The great adventure awaits you. Come out of hiding and step into it.
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This fosters broader transparency and interpersonal accountability.