Some December 25th 2009 thoughts:
“Oh, no…they can’t stay with us! What they’ve done is shameful! They should be stoned to death! We certainly aren’t going to make room in the guest chamber for them. I don’t care if they’re family! No family of ours acts like that! He hasn’t even divorced her! I guess that’s because it wasn’t him that she slept with. What is he thinking, though? Doesn’t that tell him that she’s one of those…
“One of those…”
Scripture tells us that Joseph and Mary weren’t what some people thought they were. Scripture tells us Joseph was a just man and Mary a virgin. Some who knew them were convinced otherwise. Joseph intended to divorce Mary. At that time, betrothal was a binding commitment. If broken; it was dissolved by divorce. Before he could make the mistake of divorcing her, however, he was informed by God’s messenger that the Holy Spirit was responsible for this shocking conception. (Matthew 1:18-23)
Although Joseph returned to his hometown of Bethlehem with Mary and the unborn Jesus, there was no room for them in the inn. (Luke 2:1-7) The word inn can refer to a guest chamber, not temporary commercial travel lodging. The fact that Joseph and Mary were unable to stay in a guest chamber in their hometown may indicate that their relatives had written them off. I believe Joseph and Mary were a misjudged, misunderstood, and mislabeled pair; rejected due to pride and prejudice.
Proverbs 18:13 says that ” he that answereth a matter before he heareth it, it is folly and shame unto him.” It’s reasonable to assume that the false perception of Joseph and Mary’s relatives led them to reject those that God had especially chosen to glorify himself through.
The uninformed relatives didn’t realize that Joseph and Mary were privy to inside information. They rejected the couple, however, being mind conditioned to shoot the messenger first before asking questions. They probably felt that they didn’t have to talk about the situation with the couple. After all, they could see that Mary was pregnant and unmarried. What was there to talk about? It was so obvious to them that Joseph and Mary were adulterers.
What folly and shame when one jumps to conclusions and rejects a person and or their message because one thinks they already know the truth. Far worse, however, are those that reject others purely because they hate the truth, or they fear the truth, or they fear association with a person, or they’re too selfishly arrogant to waste time on someone they think has nothing to offer them.
Think about your current relationships. Think about the beliefs you hold that have caused you to reject others who don’t see things the same way you do. Think about why you might have written someone else off.
Is their anyone that you have rejected because he or she is “one of those…” I’m not talking here about disassociating with a person because they refuse to repent of intentional immorality, idolatry or abusive behavior. I’m referring to someone with whom you have a difference, however, for whatever reason, you’ve never discussed that issue with the person. Instead, you’ve simply rejected the person.
Have you ever asked them with an open mind and heart why they believe and or act the way they do?
Have you ever humbled yourself and considered that you could learn something from them.
Before we continue any further in writing people off, we need to be warned that we risk finding ourselves shamed on that day in which we will all stand before a holy and all-knowing God who promises that he won’t forgive us if we don’t love and forgive someone else.
We might even be shamed before that if the truth is made known to us before we have taken the time to really here the matter from one who is truly informed.
“He that hath an ear let him here what the Spirit saith to the churches.”