Generalizations have My Panties in a Bunch

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Are you tired of generalizations and the labeling of people groups? Me too. Let's talk.

This post is my response to an email I received last week. The sender, my dad, asked several of us to share our thoughts. So, in addition to replying to him I have decided to publicly declare my reaction.

Jim Wallis shared the following quote in his post for Inward/Outward, titled The Call to Conversion . . . If You Were Christians:

“Regardless of what the New Testament says, most Christians are materialists with no experience of the Spirit. Regardless of what the New Testament says, most Christians are individualists with no real experience of community.”
He paused for a moment and then continued: “Let’s pretend that you were all Christians. If you were Christians, you would no longer accumulate. You would share everything you had. You would actually love one another. And you would treat each other as if you were family.”
His eyes were piercing as he asked, “Why don’t you do that? Why don’t you live that way?”

My Response:

I am completely fed up with any and all sentences that begin “you ____________.”

  • You White People.
  • You Black People.
  • You Boomers.
  • You Gen-Xers.
  • You Millenials
  • You Democrats.
  • You Republicans.
  • You Tea Party-ers.
  • You Christians.
  • You Muslims.
  • You Jews.
  • You New Agers.
  • You Stay at Home Moms.
  • You Working Moms.
  • You ___________.

ENOUGH Already!

It is just as inaccurate to say all Christians are selfish materialists; as it is to say all German Shepherds are mean.

Dear readers, we have got to stop labeling people based on generalization and presuppositions!

The definition of a bigota person who is obstinately or intolerantly devoted to his or her own opinions and prejudices, especially one who exhibits intolerance or animosity toward members of a group.

I don’t know about you, but I refuse to be a bigot.

What’s the solution?

1. Refuse to get involved in any discussion that begins with a generalization about any group of people, any place, and any time.

2. Listen to each other. Get to know people of different races, beliefs and persuasions. You might be surprised to find out your generalizations are wrong.

3. Know what you believe and why you believe it. Is your belief based on truth or opinion? Is the source of your belief truth or someone else’s opinion? You should be able to answer those questions. Too many of us believe hearsay from unreliable sources.

4. Encourage kindness and discourage bigotry. It’s time for followers of Christ to truly follow His example, to quit labeling Samaritans, Pharisees, Tax Collectors, and the like. Jesus looked at people as individuals.

Jesus listened to people, talked with them, and showed them a better way.

We can do the same.

And finally, before you get all  . . . there’s Deb being all sweet and naive again, I’m hear to say that I’m not feeling at all sweet nor am I naive; however, that will have to wait for another post.
So, will you join me?
Are you sick of generalizations too?
Can we start a movement to do something about it? What would you call it?
I would really like to hear from you. Let’s talk. Let’s listen.
I’d like to say I feel better after venting, but I don’t. This one has gotten to me.

You must be compassionate, just as your Father is compassionate. “Do not judge others, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn others, or it will all come back against you. Forgive others, and you will be forgiven. Luke 6:36-37

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4 thoughts on “Generalizations have My Panties in a Bunch

  1. I TOTALLY agree with this post of yours!!! I’m tired of being ‘lumped’ in a “YOU are…” group – and I do not want to lump others into similar categories. It does nothing for furthering dialogue or change- but it does everything in stunting what we can become….because if we start believing we are part of the “YOU …” group- we will just say, “well that is what we are…” and not want to change.

    I’m not sure what Christians he has been around- but the ones I’m around DO treat me like family and we do share with each other when we are in need. So there further shows no one should make a wide blanket statement….and I’m convicted because I am examining my heart and realize I do this at times!!

    Thank you for this post!!

    1. Hi Connie, As you can tell this one really got to me. Glad to know I’m not alone. I would like to hear what others think, but I agree with you . . . I see many Christians helping not only each other but people all over the world. And I agree that I want to keep a check on my own attitudes. Trying to avoid we and they, and think more in terms of we. Great to hear from you as always.

  2. Hi! Bigotary must have been a trending topic last week as I was reviewing and studying the behaviours that define the “arrogance of the ignorant”. This, a quoted definition on Pinterest says it all!? Bigotary, like any “negative” is mostly the way someone is feeling about “self”. It soon follows with invitations for a “pity party”! “Misery loves company”!
    I have chosen to gently embrace these “moments of craziness” with words of gentle challenge, such as; “Oh! Really! What happened to make you feel that way? Oh! What are you seeing that I didn’t see?”
    Questions we all need to ask ourselves at times because as human we all have the perpensisty to be “bigots!” It seems to be a process that follows fear??
    We are all on a journey for which we are often inadequately equipped, that is, if you forget your power in the Holy Spirit.
    The biggest battle we are facing is in our own minds as this is where the enemy is attacking.
    Thanks for highlighting this topic.
    Jacqueline.

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