Yoder's survey of the NT texts related to discipleship and imitation imagery, while it didn't linger on the scriptures, brought them into view. I stopped short at the header "Love indiscriminately as God does," under which sat Luke 6:32-36 and Matthew 5:43-48.
"If you love only those who love you, what credit is that to you?"
I am so guilty of that, of expecting reciprocity and choosing whom to love based on what they can do for me. That's ample ground for repentance, yet when i take it beyond myself, i see the same phenomenon as something which threatens communities of faith from both inside and outside. Christ's people endlessly divide and squabble over our differences, both across churches and denominations and within particular communities, and we re-produce the clique mentalities that we see around us. In these cliques, we're selective about who we choose to engage and how we interact with them, particularly when it comes to those outside our ranks.
What might it look like to be different?
Maybe that means that our best move isn't to brush off 'that guy from church' or 'that weird couple' who we don't resonate with at all, but to engage and pursue friendship with the other. I may not get them at all, but God has loved them, and they're now family. We can choose our friends, but not our families.
Again, the theme of starting within comes to bear, with the hope that this will spread like wildfire (although with more constructive results!) and overflow into the totality of our relationships.