We’ve been doing it since we were born.
We see people and the way they dress, the color of their skin, how they carry themselves, and listen to their voices and what they say and we make snap judgments. Not moral judgments all the time, we’re just looking for cues and clues about how to react, what to say next, whether or not we can be friends.
And sometimes all those elements – dress, race, mannerisms, voice, and vocabulary – are the very things keeping us from seeing through to the heart of the issue, which is that at a fundamental level, we are the same. The things we think give us privilege and something to boast about are usually skin deep. That is why the notion of injustice that comes from such superficial attributes strikes us as well, unjust.
We are all equal before the eyes of God. We are equally sinners. And our sins are of equal weight. Granted, some of us have sins that have bigger consequences and such, but ultimately, we are all shades of grey. Which means we should have a little more compassion for one another, a little more willingness to reach out to one another, and a lot more grace for one another. And ultimately not just for one another, but for others – people whom we are not connected with, who are estranged from us, whom we offend and have sinned against or are perhaps victims of their sin.
We are all connected and interchangeable in our unworthiness, just separated by the things that are merely skin deep. And that is why the church, any church, should have a tendency to get under our skin.