“No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us.”
-1 John 4:12
There’s a great book, The Righteous Mind, written by Jonathan Haidt. In it, he presents a study of societal psychology. He found out that people are actually not as selfish as we think. People don’t tend to be selfish as much as they tend to be group-ish. They’re willing to sacrifice for their group, they’re willing to give up for their group, and they’re willing to fight for their group.
There is something in human psychology that causes all of us to want to belong. When we do that, we find signposts that cause us to belong. And the two places this happens most are in politics and religion. Can I get an amen? You’re blue or you’re red. You’re in or you are out. Because of a common enemy, the group members find union with each other. They know that if they were to even give a little and see some good in the other side, then some of the unity in their group may begin to slip.
We have all been a part of groups like that. Some of us still are. I’m not saying that we shouldn’t have principles, but the day we allow those principles to cause us to treat others with contempt is the day we stop being Christian. Can I get an amen?
Prayer: Dear Lord, I want to belong, but not at the expense of others. Show me where I’m being group-ish and help me, instead, to be inclusive of others. Amen.
Reflection: Where in your life are you group-ish?