Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Blogger Small Group

I'm going to be honest and tell you all that I did not read this scripture until 10 minutes ago. Kyle "encouraged" me to follow through w/ the small group task.

Now let me be honest again. I quickly glanced it over and saw that I had a few things underlined. They were:

faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead. (v. 17)


You see that his faith and his actions were working together. (v. 22)

So of course, I was going to write about that because, heck at one time it was the thing I got most out of James 2 right? I started writing and forced myself to stop. I didn't READ it, I skimmed and then proceeded to write about something, just for the sake of having an entry for Mr. Linky.

So I'm stopping to read, really read, pray for a minute and I'll be back.

OK - I'm back. Here goes:

James 2: 2 says Suppose a man comes into your meeting wearing a gold ring and fine clothes, and a poor man in shabby clothes also comes in. If you show special attention to the man wearing fine clothes and say, "Here's a good seat for you," but say to the poor man, "You stand here," or "sit on the floor by my feet," have you not discriminated among yourselves and become judges w/ evil thoughts?

Funny, but this is exactly where I'm at right now.

I moved out of a small town in OR where there were certain expectations of me. I grew up there. Everyone knew me & my family. I had lifetime friends. When I got saved I got some new friends. They weren't widely accepted by the old ones. I lost a few old ones.

Then I moved to IN. I can't tell you how excited I was to start over. New people, no pre-conceived notions. A new chance to grow in Christ.

We bought a 10 year old, very affordable (compared to OR) house in a good school district. I couldn't wait to meet my neighbors. Unfortunately no one stopped by for 2 weeks. Being the social person I am, I made about 15 loaves of pumpkin bread and went door to door. Most were receptive, some were not. After 2 years, most are not. I joked about the reason why earlier today. The real reason? Not sure. Last night I told my hubby that I think the people in my neighborhood are snobby. They think they have a lot of money, and I don't.

Honestly, how can you tell someone's financial record by looking? I don't have a nice car, but I don't have a car payment either. My house isn't new, but it'll be paid off in a very short amount of time. I don't have uber trendy clothes or kids, but I've got property that'll have me set for retirement.

But because of appearances, I'm on the outskirts in our neighborhood. 2 doors down they had a brand new Lexus, brand new, less than a year ago! I don't even know what they have now, something else new. Across the street there's a new BMW SUV. Behind us, 2 inground pools. Next door, they just got back from another vacation. In the cul de sac, their kids go to an exclusive private school. Down the road, new promotion, therefore brand new, big, home in EXCLUSIVE neighborhood.

But wait - aren't I being snobby, by saying THEY are snobby. Isn't that a type of reverse discrimination or reverse favortism? I, who has "less money" at my disposal, am discriminating against those who have it, or at least want to portray that they do? Who am I to judge how someone spends their discretionary income?

I'm going to stick to my guns and not fall back into the new car, new house, spendy clothes, spendy EVERYTHING lifestyle. I've been there, and it's not where I want to be. I'd rather have a 1/2 empty closet than a 1/2 empty bank account. That's just where I'M at in my life. That doesn't mean that everyone else (or ANYONE for that matter) has to agree or join in.

I've got to remember that God doesn't show favortism....I shouldn't either, or reverse favortism in my case. A difficult task for a pessimist.


MCC said...

Funny - just as I was posting, a neighbor called and asked us over for a playdate. It's working already!

Anonymous said...

The one thing I love is your approach to small group. You story tell. You share you life. And in return we learn your view of the scripture and how it has convicted you.

Thanks for not just giving in to the temptation of not giving an entry. We are all blessed for your entry.



Louie Mercer, Frank Mercer and Mike Ellis: The Church for Men Dudes said...

Great blog. Going to add it to our blog list. Thanks for visiting CFM.

Michael said...

Nice read... interesting view. Glad you are part of the group... or should I say glad I am.

Wawa said...

I found on a LOT of occasions that people who have the need for bigger and better constantly are usually trying to compensate for a lot of insecurities. My husband and I have noticed a big correlation with people from unstable childhoods feeling the need for lots of stuff. Just our little inside joke. So you could take it more not as they think they are better than you but that they are just scared you will find out that they aren't as "put together" as you think!!

Scott Fillmer said...

I think it was a great discussion this week, and you certainly added to the mix... thanks for following through and giving it a go.

It has been shown throughout all the posts today that showing any favoritism is not only not biblical, but can have quite negative consequences. I appreciate your openness in your post.