Whew, so how about that election? That sure brought the crazies out, didn't it? I'm not sure why people think angrily blasting their opinions on Facebook will win people over, but there you go. To me, it becomes less about the candidates or even the issues and more of a "I'm right and you're wrong."
When I was thinking about writing this post, I was incredibly frustrated and even angry. In a round about way, I found a status of someone that I'm no longer "friends" with that professes to be a Christian and a preacher too. The status was about the two candidates and quite frankly was incredibly racist. I was horrified and my initial reaction was to fire back a response, but I didn't. I've been trying to work on opening conversations with people, but I've tried before with this person and it just became a spitting match. I then thought about posting a scathing status myself, but that's not really appropriate either. So lucky reader, you get my thoughts.
I know I've mentioned before that I'm studying and slowly reading the New Testament to establish my own belief system. I've also been reading the history of the times and how the scriptures relate to what's happening. I've been wanting to write my thoughts but like any good English major, I've wanted to conduct research and check things before putting my thoughts to paper. Let's be honest though, the chances of me having time for all that and the energy are slim, so here are my initial observations. Actually, it's mainly just one: love.
Everything comes from love.
John 3:16 - For God so Loved the world . . .
John 13:34 - A new commandment I give to you, that you Love one anoher . . .
Galations 5:22 - But the fruit of the Spirit is Love . . .
Romans 13:9-10 - For the commandments, “You shall not commit adultery, You shall not murder, You shall not steal, You shall not covet,” and any other commandment, are summed up in this word: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” Love does no wrong to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfilling of the law.
I Corithians 13 - But the greatest of these is Love.
I John 4:7 - God is Love
In the New International Version of the New Testament, the word love appears 232 times. You know how many times hell is mentioned? Roughly 23. And some of those appear to refer to a physical place in Jerusalem that was the city dump. The area was always on fire.
I don't know about you, but 232 seems a little bigger than 23. And consistently, the scriptures refer to Love as the greatest, the most important, the first, etc. First and foremost, this is how you are to act. You are to love those around you, so they know you are of Me (God).
I am so tired of the phrase Love the sinner, hate the sin. If you love someone, truly, you don't treat them that way regardless of the sin. I love my children, I would not say the things that are being said about fellow humans to my children. I love my friends, we may disagree, but I would never attack them the way some of our fellow humans are being attacked. It is amazing we are able to bring any of the lost to Jesus the way some of these "Christians" are acting. Here's the thing, folks, we are ALL sinners. All fall short of the glory of God. My sin of over indulging on food, or alcohol, or gossip is no better than this or that person's sin of gambling or promescuity or lying.
We need to come together and say, hey, maybe this other stuff doesn't matter so much; we should all strive to take care of the "least of these". The people who don't have fresh water, the children without families, the families without homes. The people who need our help. Let's focus our attentions on that for a while.
There's a part in a Casting Crowns' song that says, "They're on the way to You, but they're stumbling over me." Let's show the love of Jesus and let God worry about the rest.