There are two words that have the potential to influence all of our relationships: “them” and “us”. When we use the word “them” we seem to identify the persons as somehow different from us. Obviously, this designation can be quite harmless when we are simply trying to distinguish basic differences such as tall verses short, or blonds verses redheads.
However, all too frequently, we begin to stereotype and adopt sweeping generalizations.
The Bible sets apart different groups by their nationality, their genealogy, or their religious affiliations. Yet Jesus strives to make it very clear that these differences in the eyes of God are meaningless. We are all children of God and cared for equally.
More and more frequently our society seems to use what could be characterized as “careless language” when speaking of groups of people. Whether intended or not, we often cause hurt and needless anxiety. This is especially true when we attach labels to the differences.
As we enter the month of February when we celebrate the special gift of love on Valentine’s Day, may we resolve to do more than send candy or flowers. May we vow to think before we speak and understand that “them” are really “us!”
Rev. Dr. Fred Leasure, Parish Associate