Labels: Love ‘Em and Leave ‘Em

December 10, 2012 by  
Filed under Daily Devotions, Family

By Hally Franz –

A few friends and I gathered this morning to begin a Bible study based on the book Having a Mary Heart in a Martha World by Joanna Weaver. The book examines the story of two Biblical sisters, one consumed with household details as Jesus comes to visit, the other who simply sits to enjoy His company. The first question we were asked to consider was whether we relate to or view ourselves more as a Martha-type or Mary-type person. We each weighed-in on the matter, and I immediately felt connected to the other woman who identified with Martha.

There are a thousand ways to identify or label ourselves in this culture. Recently, we were immersed in words like: democrat, republican, libertarian, conservative, pro-life, pro-choice, red states and blue states. And, to a greater or lesser degree, each of us assumes some combination of those as our own.

We all lean either toward introversion or extroversion. Our children attend schools with other kids – kids who all label one another as jocks, band kids, drama queens, farm boys and emos. Our diverse world includes tree-huggers, homeschoolers and social climbers.

Our population includes folks from other cultures and parts of the world. My husband is a first-generation American son of German immigrants. He’s broad-shouldered, blue-eyed and blond, a stereotypical German. We have friends that are equally Irish and Italian.

When it comes to matters of faith, there are Presbyterians, Lutherans, Catholics and Baptists, and that only covers the Christian denominations. It goes on and on….

These labels help us to make associations with others in our community, country and world. They enable us to more easily connect with like-minded individuals. However, if we lack an appreciation and genuine love for all types of people, these same identifiers can become divisive.

Martha learned from Mary. Our elected officials are challenged and made better by opposing opinions. Introverts laugh at the jokes of extroverts, and kids can develop tolerance by sitting in class next to those unlike themselves. We grow and we learn, and, hopefully, we remember the one label that every one of us shares. Each one of us is a CHILD OF GOD!

At a time when our world seems divided, let’s remember our shared connection at Christmas!

PRAYER: Almighty Father, it’s easy to separate ourselves from those who differ from us. But, at this time of Christian joy and peace, help us all to keep in mind the truth that we are all children of God, created by You and benefactors of Your gift of salvation.

“He did not say this on his own, but as high priest that year he prophesied that Jesus would die for the Jewish nation, and not only for that nation but also for the scattered children of God, to bring them together and make them one” (John 11:51-52 NIV).

About Hally Franz

Hally Franz writes about her observations on family and faith, parenting and people. She is a former high school guidance counselor, turned stay-at-home mom. Hally and husband Tim will celebrate twenty years of marriage this year, and have two teens. She is a 4-H leader and band mom, serves as her church secretary and as a Bible class teacher. Hally enjoys traveling with her family and participating in monthly book club meetings with her pals.

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