All throughout world history, people have used false identifiers to elevate themselves and repress others (Sneetches with or without stars) I suppose that’s where all the new emphasis on people’s superfluous traits springs from. We have confused preferences and physical characteristics with identity.
But descriptors tell us no more about who a person truly is then knowing their favorite color or ice cream flavor. I can know that someone has either pale or warm brown skin, is a cis- or trans- person, is this or that gender, perfers partners of this or that gender, panhandles downtown or runs a large corporation, attends worship services or is completely areligious, and I still know nothing about who they truly are except that, like me, they are immortal children of God.
What tells us most about a person’s identity is what they do with what they have been given. Are they generous? Do they give of themselves to others? Are they loving, kind, forgiving, patient, full of peace and joy?
“By this everyone will know you are My disciples if you love one another”
In Jesus’s Words together with the Good Samaritan parable, we see that no label tells us what is going on in a person’s heart. Spiritual leaders passed by the mortally wounded soul on the side of the road. Only an ostracized Samaritan stopped and gave richly of himself, his time, and his resources to relieve a stranger’s suffering. We are ultimately known by the fruits of our actions, despite any and all superficial, superfluous labels we or others attach to us.
These false identifiers distract us from God’s Truth. When we feel superior because of these relatively meaningless traits, we become exclusionary. We risk not seeing others outside our circle as immortal children of God – our brothers and sisters, worthy of our love and forgiveness.
“There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all One in Christ Jesus.”
One could add “neither black nor white, gay nor straight, rich nor impoverished, liberal nor conservative, etc.” – you get the Picture…
Holy Spirit, Help me always to “think outside the box” – to see everyone as You See them. Lord, Enable Your Love for others to flow through me, despite any personal prejudices I harbor in my heart. Forgive my myopic sight when it comes to others who are different from me. Open my Spiritual eyes and heart to Your Truth, Lord!