One undeniable fact is that we live in bubbles. They come in all shapes and sizes and can develop warmth and comfort, much like a baby in the womb. But when something disturbs that bubble or threatens it’s safety, the ones inside can turn multiple directions in response to the tension and discomfort caused by this reality.
1) The Belligerent
This is one way to respond to the exclusivity of your community being broken. It involves being judgmental, hateful, and belligerent towards those who are not in our bubble. The problem is that this type of interaction was condemned by Christ. Much of Judaism was violently opposed to interaction with pagan culture its day. Christ, however, was very interactive towards the sinful pagan and loved them as expression of the Kingdom. He still notes sin, but in a new way.
2) The Marshmallow
This is the person that has been usually sheltered to the point that when they see the other side, they might be attracted by the newness and “freeness” of it. Sometimes it is in response to what is inherently wrong with the bubble. Though not justified in leaving, one should understand their reaction is understandable. We as Christians must be cautious enough to not create this unaware group, lest they be made aware apart from our teaching, and be led away by different teachers. But we must do it with a goal of love. If we do not, their fleeing the ranks might prophetic about any hateful notion we are expressing.
3) The Incessant Lover
The first two reactions are natural tendencies. This reaction takes work and submission to God and others. It takes endless listening before you know what God wants you to say. It takes numerous prayers for the other and prayers for the right perception of the other. It takes imagination and the denial of self. It takes a heart that says, “Instead of a militant, western, crusader type of theology, I choose a Jesus theology of love, sacrifice, and leadership via submission to the needs of others.
Where do you find yourself on this scale? Are you reacting from your own will or the will of God? Do you seek to reflect what Jesus was like or what you think Jesus should have been like?