Ditching the Buffet Approach to Love.

Ditching the Buffet Approach to Love.
Photo by Ye Chen / Unsplash

These days, we can live wherever we want, regardless of where we work and play. Virtual living gives us access to a free-form version of life, a feeling as if nothing holds us down.

We think this is what we want.

person using MacBook Pro
Photo by Glenn Carstens-Peters / Unsplash

We will drive across town to churches, attending the ones we like the most (and who are most like us) instead of learning to like the ones near us. We sacrifice the near and different for the more preferable far-away and familiar. 

We need to seriously consider how much our lives have become tailor-made to our liking. 

It isn't necessarily wrong to gravitate towards people who look like us, act like us, or attend churches that match our style and way of life.

But we slowly cut away from people different from us, people who are often the ones we need to learn from the most. 

  • Instead of huddling with people who make us comfortable and hold the same political views, what would it look like to invite your Democratic neighbors with the Biden signs in their yard over for dinner?
  • Instead of huddling with people who make us comfortable and attend the same denomination (or non-denomination) as us, what would it look like to ask our Catholic friends if we could attend Mass with them next week?
  • Instead of huddling with those who make us comfortable, own a home and two cars, and send their kids to charter school, what would it look like to go on a walk with the guys asking for money in the park?

If we love people like us, and they love us back, we confuse Jesus' call to love others with a buffet: I can pick what I like and leave the rest. 

person holding stainless steel fork
Photo by Ulysse Pointcheval / Unsplash

The family of faith should look like a real family.

In a life that has been tailored to our liking, most don't get the choice to separate from annoying uncles and awkward siblings. They are just people we learn to love over time, not despite their faults but partly because of them. They are different and loving, and we feel at home with them.

That is the family of God. We go through life with people who drive us a little crazy, and we love them nonetheless. 

Matthew 12:48-50, “Who is my mother, and who are my brothers?” Pointing to his disciples, he said, “Here are my mother and my brothers. For whoever does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother, sister and mother.”

What a weird group of people Jesus assembled, likely teaching us a lesson.

Don't be picky.

Just love like him.

Who is one person you could reach out to this week who is different from you?