In Other Words

Wilona Karimabadi

is an assistant editor at Adventist Review and is editor of KidsView, Adventist Review’s magazine for children.

Peculiar People Shouldn’t Be Isolated

One thing I really enjoy about General Conference sessions is the opportunity to be around so many of my “own.”

If you’ve been to one, you’ve likely picked up on the special feeling in the area, a palpable vibe that comes only from being among like-minded people in the same place, for the same purpose.

Human nature supports the saying “Birds of a feather flock together,” which rings so true where Adventists are concerned. We definitely feel most comfortable around our own.

But if we spend our lives ensconced in only Adventist bubbles, I think we are actually flying in the face of the gospel commission.

That commission is all about going out. Going forth. Leaving where we are. Moving outward. Yet so many of us seem to prefer waiting for those we are meant to reach to come to us only when they are ready to change to our ways.

if the music has too much of a beat for your taste, just know it’s designed to raise your heart rate. Smile and go with it.

How fiercely do we cling to our “safe zones,” shunning the “nons” because we don’t understand them, or worse, fear their influence on our way of thinking. When we do that, how exactly are we spreading the gospel?

One of the first and easiest places to start is within your community, deliberately seeking out opportunities to be among people who are not Adventist.

So if you comfortably exist within Adventist campuses of your own making, get out of them. Don’t fear the corruption of your values and beliefs from sheer exposure to the world. Instead, operate with the confidence that that which is true will surely stand. Right?

Join exercise classes or studios where you might befriend someone that you might have the opportunity to serve one day. And if the music has too much of a beat for your taste, just know it’s designed to raise your heart rate. Smile and go with it.

If your new friend invites you to hang out at a certain café with worldwide locations, enjoy your herbal tea or juice, maybe split a lemon cake slice, and be a listening and laughing friend who loves unconditionally.

Are your neighbors having a picnic as you are returning from church? Don’t be afraid to join them. Go enjoy the picnic lunch; make more friends; or strengthen neighborhood friendships as the Holy Spirit guides you in discovering more and more ways to bless and be blessed in service and joy.

Is there is a concert, charity drive, or other opportunity to be involved stemming from your local public school? Go and learn more about the things going on in your community, and see how you might be a better fellow citizen, ready to serve.

We have to go. We have to find. We have to serve. And we have to love.

None of that will happen if we live like we have to be isolated, because Jesus never asked us to. 

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