There is something that's been tearing me up for years. This thing that people do to one another....and females more than males. Brought to light most recently by my children. And it makes my blood boil.
Back in middle school in the mid-late 80s, it was things like Guess jeans and Keds tennis shoes(and lest we forget liz Claiborne purses) Somehow a triangle on your hiney and a blue piece of rubber on the back of your shoes made everything better. Right? And if you didn't wear those things...well, no way you'd ever be popular. But everyone wanted to be the girl everyone knew and admired and wanted to be like!
Now that we're grown up, though, it's other things....like where your kids go to school. What car you drive and what your hobbies are. What church you attend and how often you're there. What you've read. What your husband does for a living and if you work to support your family. The fact that you will be drawn to some friends that share the same hobbies and beliefs you do is understandable. But why must it stop there? Why can't people be friends with and do things with others that don't necessarily run in their circle? Why tear down and alienate others that aren't like us?
There are going to be those who try and try to fit in...those that will change the way they live their lives to be a "part of the group," so they won't be treated as outcasts as the rest of us. But should we have to? And if we do have to change those things in order to be someone's friend, it doesn't seem like it's a true friendship, because we are becoming something we're not made to be.
All of these things have come to light over the last few months as one of my girls has struggled with some "friendships" at school. No, she didn't play softball, doesn't wear short shorts to school, and doesn't have her ears peirced. She has one of the biggest hearts of any kid I know and loves to love others. She will be a friend to those who don't look the same, don't wear skinny jeans, and are in special classes. And I am so very proud of her for that. (and she is blessed with some incredible friends who share the same characteristics, thank the Lord!) To me, she is putting into practice what is taught to us...and what I pray each of my children, as well as myself, do every day.
The bottom line is that we are called to love. To love God, love people, and to encourage others. This is not saying we must be "besties" with everyone in our path, but regardless of age, weight, hobby, financial status, occupation, appearance, denomination, past, gender...we must respect and show love to others.
I am not like you. I am not perfect (shocker!) and I'm sure have alienated those in the past who were not like me. I was incredibly blessed to be raised in a home where these values were not just taught, but put into daily practice. As God grows my heart, these things I know...