You can’t really love the Homeless until you love Debbie or Steve [who happen to be homeless].
You can’t really say you love the LGBTQ community until you love Scott or Hannah or Jasmine [who happen to be Gay, Trans and Lesbian].
You can’t really love Muslims until you love Usha, or Ibrahim [who are Muslims].
You can’t really love any group of people as long as you only see them as an anonymous collective that sits behind a label.
And that’s the point. As long as we relate to Muslims, Lesbians, Homeless, Refugees, etc. as categories, we will never come to see them as human beings who – like us – are worthy of love, respect, compassion, dignity and human rights.
Even once you do know these people intimately, you cannot easily continue to refer to their groups in such broad strokes as “Muslims” or “Homeless” or “Transgender”, or any other label without realizing that all of the people in that group are not the same.
We usually only notice this when we hear someone refer to our particular group in this way in order to make a broad-brush generalization about us. We bristle instinctively. We are quick to cry foul. We shout at our TVs or curse at our laptops – “We’re not all the same!”
So, whenever we feel tempted to say things like “All Homeless people are lazy” or “All Muslims hate our freedoms” or “All Refugees are dangerous criminals”, etc. we have to stop ourselves and realize that this is only possible to say if you don’t actually know anyone in one of those groups.
Because once you actually know someone who is Homeless, you cannot ever again agree with the statement “All Homeless people are lazy” because the one’s you know aren’t all lazy. Many of them work harder than you and I work. They are doing all they can to survive every single day.
And once you actually know someone who is Muslim, you cannot ever again sit quietly while someone says “All Muslims hate our freedoms” or suggests that they all want to kill Christians and impose Sharia Law. Because the Muslims you’ve met are kind, sincere, loving and very, very “normal” people who – other than their religion – are exactly like you and me.
Therefore, let’s try to meet people who are not like us. Let’s try to see them as they are – human beings who are members of the same human race. Let’s learn to love those who are different, and to see Christ in them, realizing that we are all part of one family, under God our Father; the One in whom we all live and move and have our being.
Until we can learn to love without labels, we will never learn to love as Christ commanded us to love.
Join me this summer at one of these upcoming events:
*El Paso, TX – May 19 “United We Stand”
*Costa Mesa, CA – June 22 “United We Stand”
*Hot Springs, NC – July 11-14 “Wild Goose Festival”
Want Keith to come speak at your church or in your home town? Learn more HERE
Keith Giles was formerly a licensed and ordained minister who walked away from organized church 11 years ago, to start a home fellowship that gave away 100% of the offering to the poor in the community. Today, He and his wife live in Meridian, Idaho, awaiting their next adventure.
His new book “Jesus Unbound: Liberating the Word of God from the Bible”, is available now on Amazon and features a Foreword by author Brian Zahnd.
He is also the author of the Amazon best-seller, “Jesus Untangled: Crucifying Our Politics To Pledge Allegiance To The Lamb” with a Foreword by Greg Boyd.
Keith also co-hosts the Heretic Happy Hour Podcast on iTunes and Podbean.
BONUS: Want to unlock exclusive content including blog articles, short stories, music, podcasts, videos and more? Visit my Patreon page.