It is uncomfortable for us to welcome different people in our lives. We have to not only deal with learning new things, new ideas, and new patterns of behavior but we also have to deal with our own fears, insecurities, and prejudices. That is why is so much easier to justify distancing ourselves from other people under pretence that they are just “bad.” Our “God Box” Is Shaped According to the People Who Make Us Feel Good
When life gets messy, hard, or lonely we tend to go through “religious change.” When our original religious views and “God box” no longer help us feel better, we decide it makes sense to open the box a bit and look around. As soon as we find a group of people who make us feel better again, we quickly “box them up” again. “Wow, I was so silly to believe X and Y, but now I believe A and B. You should believe A and B too.” For many people “enlightenment” is simply moving from one God box to a different one.
Sure, sometimes the second one is a little bigger than the first, but ultimately we still decide that “these people are good” and “those people are bad.” The people in our “God box” are OK, and the people outside are “crazy.”
I kind of think that God is much bigger and inclusive than any box we might use in his name. Jesus was not about excluding the “bad” people but instead about welcoming all. Maybe we should try to do the same?