Who Do You Hang Out With?

A personal weakness got me thinking about today’s word-of-the-week…

OUTCAST

Jesus hung out with outcasts, right?

We all know it’s true, and we all believe it’s a noble idea—for someone else. But if I’m honest, I don’t want to hang around with the homeless, the developmentally disabled, the poor, the addicts, the abused…

I want to sit at the cool kids’ table, and I’ll bet you do, too.

I’ve noticed lately that most of the high-profile Christian leaders I know seem to share my preference. They associate with a lot of influential folks, and they’re much too busy writing books and “leading leaders” to spend time with the sort of people among whom Jesus spent His life. They’re good at telling us about the need to befriend the disenfranchised—from a comfortable office.

I’d be critical, except I like hanging out with the popular crowd as well.

I can’t share details, but I’ve been challenged recently with an opportunity to hang out with a guy nobody else wants to hang out with. At first I avoided, then I gave in begrudgingly. I started hearing patronizing comments—“It’s so nice of you to spend time with him”—and I recognized how silly and selfish I’d been, and how irritating those remarks sounded.

This guy isn’t a project, and I’m not doing him a favor or performing my duty by spending a few hours with him. He’s offering a gift—I simply stumbled into the opportunity to receive it.

I don’t know how you learn how to want to hang out with people you don’t really want to hang out with. I know it won’t happen by following leaders who are part of the in-crowd.

More and more, I recognize “Follow me” as an invitation but also a difficult question.

Who will I follow?

It’s Monday. I want to follow Jesus, even when He goes where I don’t want to go.

How about you?

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Copyright by Rich Dixon, All Rights Reserved. Used by permission.Rich is an author and speaker. He is the author of:

Relentless Grace: God’s Invitation To Give Hope Another Chance. Visit his web site www.relentlessgrace.com

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