It’s human nature to band together according to our various families, cliques, and tribes. But this means to be an insider there must also be outsiders. Some people will be our people while others will not, and this is okay depending on how the boundaries are set.
Family is often our first tribe and we quickly learn as kids those considered to be members of our family and those who are not. And at school we start to form cliques around our various social activities and interests. This continues as adults as we also add professional identities, community interests, social concerns, and the like to the list of how we define our tribes.
There’s not enough time in the day nor do our finite souls have the capacity to connect with everyone in the same way. Some will naturally be selected for our inner circle while leaving others on the outside.
But it’s important not to become so blinded to our group memberships that we’re not aware of the daily choices we’re making to include some while also excluding others.
For instance, while we might be content within our own tribe, can we still take time to notice those who don’t currently have a place to belong and invite them to join us? This is part of our duty to love – caring for those who are orphaned and widowed or otherwise left on the outside.
To be sure, life happens and we might find ourselves in a season in which we are the outsiders, longing to find our people once again. Here we must be intentional about pursuing new relationships while also being patient and gracious toward others. It’s not easy to break into established groups, but as we live by faith we trust God will open hearts and doors to meet our needs.
In the end, life will always be filled with insiders and outsiders. But stay open to the ways you include and exclude others. Love often calls us to make outsiders insiders. And this is a grace we hope for ourselves whenever we’re on the outside.