Have you ever felt like you were on the outside? Like you just didn't fit in or belong? Where did you feel like that? Home, school, church? Why? Was it the place, the things, or was it the people?
I never liked being an outsider. In high school, I wasn't really an outsider. I hung out with everyone. I was in football and theater, AP classes and super easy computer classes. The one place I felt like an outsider, though, was the first church I started attending. In my first youth group, we didn't have a youth pastor. We had three men who rotated teaching the class. One week, after much prayer, two of those men left the church due to some doctrinal issues, leaving one behind to take over. He became the dictator of the teen ministry. The one teacher left behind was the one who encouraged a "seniority rules" attitude, who encouraged pranks on the weaker and younger, and had an "if you're not for me, you're against God" kind of attitude. Because I wasn't for him, I was on the outside. Instantly the youth knew they could pick on me and nothing would happen. I didn't have the nicest car, so everyone knew they could make fun of me for that. I remember times that the teens would jump on top of my hood, take things out of my car, and one time the youth guy used my car as an example of a junk car in one of his lessons! Four months later, we left and I was able to join one of the best churches ever. Droo, who was the youth pastor at this new church, will still contact me today and check up on me, and I've been out of his youth group for 6 years!
People may not have been making fun of other's cars 2,000 years ago, but they weren't nice to those less fortunate, outsiders, or sinners. But Jesus said this to their religious leaders:
And as he reclined at table in his house, many tax collectors and sinners were reclining with Jesus and his disciples, for there were many who followed him. And the scribes of the Pharisees, when they saw that he was eating with sinners and tax collectors, said to his disciples, “Why does he eat with tax collectors and sinners?” And when Jesus heard it, he said to them, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. I came not to call the righteous, but sinners.”
-Mark 2:15-17 ESV
Remember this, those who are less fortunate, poor, outsiders, or sinners still need love, and they still need a Savior. Don't kick them when they're down, but pick them back up and show them the love of Jesus!