“Thinking outside of the box” is a phrase often used to praise imaginative and bold ideas. When we need to solve a problem but there’s no clear path forward, our minds are stretched and we are forced to imagine a better way. But what would it look like to not just think outside the box, but to LIVE outside of the box as well?
Rodney is a husband and a father. He goes to church and home-schools his kids. He loves God and loves others, but Rodney found himself living within a box of how he thought a Christian in America should be living. And as a result, he ended up putting others in boxes as well.
When it came to immigration, influenced by biased news outlets and talk radio, Rodney felt it might be best if the U.S. stopped allowing more people to come here. He would judge his immigrant neighbors as bad influences or people to be feared.
In his book, Thou Shall Not Be A Jerk, Eugene Cho says, “[W]e must work to remain in friendship and fellowship. As Christians, we need to agree that the most significant aspects of our relationship are not our politics, our political views, or our political affiliations but that we are connected together as brothers and sisters in Christ.”
After World Relief came to Rodney’s church and taught truthfully about immigration in the U.S., Rodney began to notice a change in his heart.
Rodney’s transformative story is a refreshing reminder of what God can do when we open ourselves up to see our neighbors as image-bearers of God. When we no longer keep others in the boxes we build based on judgments, we are then free to live in true fellowship with each other.
“It’s all about being open to God… Be open, and let God use you to be who he created you to be.” Rodney says.
May we all be a little more like Rodney and courageously live life outside of the box.
At World Relief, we believe the same healing and transformation that Jesus brought to the world as Emmanuel, “God with us,” is still at work today through the church and through people just like you! When you partner with World Relief, you help create more inspirational stories of hope and transformation from communities around the world.
Will you join this movement of lasting change by giving to World Relief today?
Jessica Galván is a Content Writer at World Relief. She is passionate about storytelling and amplifying diverse voices to reveal the beauty of God’s creation. She is also the Editorial Director for Chasing Justice and prior to World Relief, she was a freelance writer and editor for a variety of clients in publishing, most recently Penguin Random House. When she isn’t wordsmithing for the pursuit of faith and justice, she is spending time with her husband and their 3 children in the Houston, TX area.