Define and Miss

I’ve been a teacher for a long time, and I’ve seen the temptation to slap labels on kids, put them in a box and avoid having to go the extra mile to truly disciple them. It’s a lazy way of dealing with students – if we can define them we can dismiss them.

I noticed this the other night at a banquet I went to with my wife. We were asked to host a table with six international students for a Thanksgiving meal. I looked around the room and discovered that there were about 25 nations represented at the various other tables. All kinds of dress, languages, customs poured through the room. Trying to process it all was a little overwhelming, so I reverted to my natural instinct of “classifying” each person within their culture and then I could deal with the magnitude of so many different variations. They were boxed in within the boundaries of my self-protective prejudices. But as I talked with the people at my table, these prejudices started to fade and I felt upset that I had been so lazy and unwilling to deal with them as individuals.

We do this all the time. We do it with the unborn – find the definition of life and then we can dismiss any that fall before it with a clear conscience. We do it with the elderly – define them as “senior citizens” and place them in boxes and dismiss them. Older people in church do it with the youth. The youth do it with the older people. We do it with people from other cultures. Defined and dismissed. Conscience cleared. I do not have to deal with you any longer.

Jesus addresses this in Matthew 5:21 – 24 when He tells us to reconcile with those around us. Reconciliation is more than just saying you’re sorry. It’s all based on how you see the person you’re dealing with. It’s a lot easier to leave relationships unreconciled if we can simply dismiss that person in our mind as someone beneath us. best places to visit . He uses the terms %2([%2Raca” dragon city gems hack and “Fool” to make this point clear.

“Raca” is an Aramaic term implying “empty-headed.” Name-calling was highly insulting in Jewish culture. You were given a name in accordance with who you were, and to strip that away and give a different name was extremely demeaning.

“You Fool!” is similar to the Greek word “more” which gives us the word “moron.” The implication here was more than just a cursory insult – you were making some long-lasting comment on who that person was. You were defining them. When you strip away the dignity of your brother, your fellow man, it’s a lot easier to live in a state of hatred and enmity. We can easily rationalize not having to reconcile with someone who we have just destroyed with a label, who we have just rendered unworthy of reconciliation. Again: define and dismiss.

Before we can truly reconcile, we must be able and willing to see them as brothers, not enemies. Only the love of Christ and the eyesight of God can do this for us. Jesus never dismissed anyone – He held His arms open for all to come. He allowed them to dismiss themselves, which is something completely different. I pray that we will start a reconciliation between cultures and generations that will show that the Spirit is really at work within our li