Billy's Blog
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December 13, 2016, 10:00 AM

Someone Else's Shoes Don't Fit Right

It's really hard at times to look at life from another person's perspective. This morning I was at a business and the lady working the register was not super-friendly. She was not rude and certainly didn't offend me, but she was not necessarily excited that I was there. At first I was quick to judge her. I mean she should be glad I was there. I was buying her product and helping her business. Ultimately I was helping her have a job, right? All of this is true, but I stopped for a moment and just thought about how she felt. She had probably been there since very early, and probably did not get enough sleep. Maybe she had a crying baby to deal with all night. There could be many reasons why she was not ecstatic to be there that morning. 

It's really hard to put on someone else's shoes. I know how I feel, what I think, how I perceive things, and it's just easier to stay in that little world. This morning I was sent an article on why millenials are not coming to church. Millenials are kind of loosely defined, but it's generally accepted as those in their mid-30's down to older teens. I just read a Pew Research Center's study that Millenials have overtaken Baby Boomers as the largest living generation. This huge generation is largely missing from the American church. Over 3,500 churches are closing each year. Half of all churches in the US did not add any new members to their church in the past two years. A big part of this is that millenials are just not going to church. 

We have a choice. We can look at this only through our perspective. We can blame them and our culture for getting more liberal and less godly with less values. We can blame a lack of commitment. We can murmur under our breath about this new generation that doesn't care about anything. Do any of these options sound like productive ones? 

It's time to try on someone else's shoes. 

I know it's uncomfortable. We like our old sneakers that might be falling apart but feel so good. It's time that we consider how others feel. It's time we consider how others see life through their eyes. It's what Jesus did. 

Jesus said, "Hey, Zaccheus, I'm coming to your house. I hope you've got the crock pot going because I'm starving." 

Jesus sat down at Matthew's dining room table and ate with tax collectors and "sinners." 

Jesus shared a glass of water with a Samaritan woman at a well discussing life...and her life. 

Jesus stopped and defended and befriended a young lady caught in a terrible sin. He encouraged to try a different way of life. 

He was not so consumed so much with his own life and his own agenda to not consider that others may think and feel differently. He wanted to know what people thought and why they thought the way they did. One of the things I read in this article about millenials is that they want a voice. They want the older people, which apparently I'm a part of, to listen to them, to allow them to have a voice. They want to be valued. So what I'm hearing is that I have to try on their shoes. 

I don't really like their shoes. They are not my style. They don't fit right and they make me uncomfortable. But what's my goal as a Christian...to be comfortable or to love people? Give me a second...I'm thinking about it. I know...I should love people, but boy I really like to be comfortable, too. 

So maybe today just step out of your little bubble that's all about you, and think about someone else. It might be that little family in the restaurant you're in that's driving you crazy. It might be that young waitress or clerk. It might the young guy down the street who doesn't keep his yard as neat as yours. It might be those pesky young people at church who want new music and bring, gasp...coffee into the sanctuary at church. 

If we love them enough to try on their shoes we just might win them. 

I think it's worth a try. 


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