Be Uncustomary

A woman from Samaria came to draw water. Jesus said to her, “Give me a drink.” (For his disciples had gone away into the city to buy food.) The Samaritan woman said to him, “How is it that you, a Jew, ask for a drink from me, a woman of Samaria?” (For Jews have no dealings with Samaritans.) — John 4:7-9

Two things in this interaction make it rather shocking. First, Jewish men avoided contact with Samaritans because they considered them religious sellouts. Second, Jewish men never conversed with women in public — even their wives. So Jesus completely ignores two Jewish religious customs to engage this woman.

This illustrates to us that there is a point at which religious traditions or customs can prevent others from knowing the truth about God. And sometimes, these should be ignored, not for shock value, but so that someone else can experience God's truth and love. But note: in no way is Jesus sinning by violating these traditions. He demonstrates that love within appropriate limits can help others see beyond tradition so they can see God.

So try having a meaningful interaction with someone different from you today. That person who does not share the same beliefs as you that you always avoid. Lean into the discomfort without compromising your character, and watch what God does. For example, try engaging the server at your table by appropriately inquiring about them. Or engage a lost member of the family that irritates you in a caring conversation.  Or talk to that person at work that you always avoid because you can't stand what they stand for. You know exactly what I am talking about. Each of these people might be surprised that you stopped to ask and violated your patterns, customs, and traditions to get to know them. And then watch because an opportunity might present itself that might surprise you too.

ASK THIS: What personal custom or pattern do you need to violate to share the love of God?

DO THIS: Violate your customs.

PRAY THIS: God, I am willing.

PLAY THIS: Jesus Paid It All.

short | practical | biblical
Read through the Bible daily with Vince Miller.

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Jason B. Taylor

Wow, this insight into this Bible passage has so many amazing, unseen, positive godly impacts on our crazy culture all around us each day! This has challenged me greatly to increase my discomfort in conversing with random people God brings across my path. As our world gets darker the light of Jesus can reflect brighter!

David Josker

God, I am willing, show me the way.

Paul L

I love this challenge. Leaning into discomfort, as you said Vince, is how God led me to serve the homeless in our area. It was very uncomfortable to “enter their world” at first – and still is in many ways. These men and women that I would normally divert eye contact with or cross the street to avoid are now, for me, opportunities to evangelize and to forge unique relationships. Praise Jesus for blessing me with this as a way to glorify Him.

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