“Master,” said John, “we saw someone driving out demons in your name and we tried to stop him, because he is not one of us.” “Do not stop him,” Jesus said, “for whoever is not against you is for you.”
Once I went to a church in Palm Beach where people strutted their fine clothes wondering, “Who is the greatest?” That attitude leads people into the “He is not one of us attitude.” Have you ever walked into a church and felt, “I don’t belong here?” It’s happened to me several times. Sometimes I’ve received looks for being the only one wearing blue jeans, sometimes no one in the congregation has smiled back at me, sometimes the preacher has preached a judgmental sermon, making everyone in the congregation think they are headed for hell. I’ve been to a Bible Study where I was the only one without the gift of speaking in tongues. There was no interpreter – talk about feeling like an alien.
It’s human nature to condemn those who think differently than we do. My Bible Study teacher doesn’t like Joel Osteen because he preaches that God rewards people with material goods. I think God gives us material rewards, we all want the best for our children. My point is, though, my teacher wouldn’t welcome Joel Osteen at our church, but Joel Osteen would welcome my teacher to his church.
Are we representing Jesus by loving people who aren’t as close to Jesus as we think we are, or who aren’t as fortunate as we are, or who look differently than we do? If we aren’t loving them, we may be stopping them from knowing Jesus and/or doing His work.
Father God, help me realize that the enemy is the only one fighting against me, and the enemy is not flesh and blood. Every human has a demon or two, so help me bless others with Your love and power to help them see that you’re bigger than their demons. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.