Escaping Our Bubbles

January 12, 2017
Volume 21, Number 2

Our nation has seen a bitter and divisive Presidential election take place.  That battle is now over, and Donald Trump will soon take office.  But does anyone believe things will quickly return to normal?  Is the United States of America really united at this moment?

Outgoing President Obama spoke to the nation this past Tuesday evening.  He sees the signs of unrest and disunity.  Though I have disagreed with his views on other matters, I think he spoke wisely on the need to escape our “bubbles”.  In referring to racial tensions and political partisanship, he said these types of problems “fester inside insulated ‘bubbles’ where everyone looks and thinks the same.”

Most of us grow up in “bubbles” like that: for many years I had no experiences with people of Hispanic descent.  I, too, harbored stereotypes that are common about this group.  But after short-term mission trips to Peru and Nicaragua I saw one thing clearly: Though we speak different languages and eat different food, we’re all more alike than we may realize.  It was good for me to escape my bubble.

How does one escape their bubble?  The President gave this answer: “If you’re tired of arguing with strangers on the Internet, try talking with one of them in real life. If something needs fixing, then lace up your shoes and do some organizing. If you’re disappointed by your elected officials, grab a clipboard, get some signatures and run for office yourself. Show up. Dive in. Stay at it.”

The apostle Paul didn’t use the word “bubble”, but he spoke of walls that separate people.  In Ephesians 2:14 he wrote of Christ’s efforts to break down those walls: “For He Himself is our peace, who has made both one, and has broken down the middle wall of separation … so as to create in Himself one new man from the two, thus making peace.”

In another letter Paul presented the effect of Christ’s work in simple terms: “There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus” (Galatians 3:28).  Externally such distinctives are still obvious.  But we should treat one another with love and respect, working toward peace.

James, Jesus’ brother, wrote about judging others by outward appearances.  Such attitudes put us in a perilous position, he warned: “Have you not shown partiality among yourselves, and become judges with evil thoughts?” (James 2:4).

To make our nation united again, we do indeed need to escape from our bubbles.  We must begin interacting with others, serving their needs, loving them.  In the process we will find we’re much more alike than we thought.

Come to the light God offers!  Study His word, the Bible.  Worship Him in spirit and truth (John 4:24).  Get in touch with us if you’d like to discuss these ideas further.


Copyright, 2017, Timothy D. Hall. All scripture quotations, unless otherwise noted, are from the New King James Version (Copyright, 1990, Thomas Nelson, Inc.).

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