The “Us” and “Them” World vs. the Kingdom of God

Human’s love, love, love each other. Don’t we? Maybe what I mean to say is that we humans just love, love, love each other when it’s just “Us.” Confused? Stop and think about the people that you love, the people that you know, that you care about, that you would gladly do anything for. Chances are, for most of you reading this; the number of people you love is a very small number of people out of the 8 billion that are currently alive on the planet. In fact, it’s probably smaller than 100 total people or 0.00000125% of people alive today. Crazy, Right?

In the 1970s, a social psychologist investigated what he called later the minimal group paradigm. This investigation was based on the observation that humans have a tendency to categorize other humans into social groups starting at a very young age. These mental groupings eventually create thinking called the us and them mentality. This leads us toward labeling people who are different than “Us” whether it be race, gender, party, culture, religion, wealth etc. as “them.” The psychologist wanted to know just what the minimal conditions were for people to call someone else a “them.”

Studies have shown that we humans, broadly speaking, heavily favor group bias even though categorizes of separation could be as trite as hair color, shoe size, or eye color. What is natural is for us to want to categorize, separate, and only take care of those who are in our “us” group. It seems as though the thinking of people in terms of “us” and “them” can almost automatically cause people to be susceptible to illogical group prejudice.

This may explain the world we see today as it moves closer towards the flesh and further from the Spirit of God. The world simply can’t figure out how to see other humans as God’s children or “us” and that there is no “them,” only the illusion of a “them.”

The Kingdom of God calls those of “us” who know we are in the kingdom to love like God loves. We are called to categorize like God categorizes. The Apostle Paul says this in Galatians chapter 3: 26-28, “So in Christ Jesus you are all children of God through faith, for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.”

Even Jesus himself was able to look past the petty and trite categories during His life on earth and see through the turmoil caused by this mentality and ask those around him to love their enemies, do good to the “they” that persecutes you.

This week as you are on social media, watching the news, interacting with this world, pay attention to your thoughts and your words. See if you can begin to notice the pull towards the “us and them” way of thinking. Then resist it and try to see that God sees only one category, His Children!

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