Our scripture today is Mark 9:38-41.
John said to him, “Teacher, we saw someone casting out demons in your name, and we tried to stop him, because he was not following us.” But Jesus said, “Do not stop him, for no one who does a mighty work in my name will be able soon afterward to speak evil of me. For the one who is not against us is for us. For truly, I say to you, whoever gives you a cup of water to drink because you belong to Christ will by no means lose his reward.
Does this sound familiar? Someone who isn’t part of “our group” is doing something good and we wonder if we should oppose it. What kind of logic is that? The reply Jesus gives tells us all we need to know.
We know people often have hidden agendas for what they do, but Jesus says just because they aren’t part of “our group” doesn’t automatically mean they intend bad things. We have become so suspicious of anyone outside our circles – political, national, denominational – that we view their actions based on this rather than the action itself. Only God can judge what they are doing, it’s not up to us.
We need to be aware that evil exists and waits for an opportunity, but we must not consider people or their actions evil simply because they are different. Ask God to give you discernment about things before making decisions. He calls us to see everyone as brothers and sisters, created in His image.
Loving Lord, we jump to conclusions about each other based on limited knowledge or our own biases. Help us remember we are all Your children and avoid conflicts based on our differences. May we go in Your name together. Amen.