As a young man Mahatma Gandhi sought to discover the religion that would emancipate India from the caste system. Diligently he examined various religions. He came to the conclusion that Christianity had the right answer to India’s divisive, degrading problems.
One Sunday, Gandhi went to a Christian church. A church member coldly confronted him at the front door and said, “Sir, this church is only for Europeans.” Disillusioned, Gandhi walked silently away from the church. “If Christians have caste differences also,” Gandhi said, “I might as well remain a Hindu.”
The attitude he had encountered caused him to turn away from Christianity and dedicate himself to the spreading of Hinduism to India’s millions. How different India’s history might have been if Christ-likeness had been displayed by that Christian!
Though most in our churches would never exhibit such offensively racist attitudes, you wouldn’t have to look too hard to find examples of aloofness and indifference in our foyers or sanctuaries. Those attitudes can be just as offensive to visitors, causing many to walk away in search of a different option.
I want to urge you to look for someone you don’t know this Sunday and get to know them. Who knows how God might choose to use that simple act of friendliness in the life of another person. The impact could be significant.