“Whoever does not love does not love God, because God is love.” 1 John 4:8 (NIV)
This past week has been a difficult one. And I have found that my feelings have been hurt more often than not. I am often close to tears, and it is not because of the Supreme Court Rulings. It is, rather, to the response to them.
One of my friends posted on Facebook yesterday about how Christians are full of hate, that they are mean-spirited. The slant on it, as he wrote, really offended me, but more than that it made me sad. And the main reason it made me sad is because he is right. The responses I am seeing from people who call themselves Jesus followers does not match at all what Jesus Himself teaches.
Now, I am not saying all Christians are spewing hate language and making ridiculous statements. But many are. And I know in my heart of hearts that most of them are not speaking from their true hearts. Many of our brothers and sisters are hurting because of the things that are being celebrated, even though those things are against our God and all He stands for. That includes me, by the way.
But the reality is that we are not going to make any difference whatsoever for the cause of Christ if we respond in angry and petulant ways. Jesus told us that we would be persecuted just as He was (John 15:20-21). And if we are truly His followers, we will learn to take it, stand on His words and commands, and believe His promises that all will be well with us in the end.
What would Jesus do? He would speak love, while also speaking truth. He would not be hateful, or angrily attack those who attack Him or us. He would bridge the hate and hurt on all sides with the purest form of love, the love of the Father, of Christ, and of The Holy Spirit.
I have pulled myself away from Facebook quite a bit, simply because I do not see the need to continue to expose myself to the things I do not wish to have in my life. I am not disavowing their existence. However, until we learn how to take our thoughts captive (2 Corinthians 10:5), we will not be successful in warding off the feelings of hurt and betrayal that come from those we consider to be friends. We must take the steps to stop, look, and listen, where the gospel of our Lord is considered. We also must make sure that we are filled up with His word, and His commands. And we must always remember to put on the full armor of God, that we will have the protection, wisdom, and courage to take a stand, to not back down, and to love, love, love, everyone in the most genuine kind of way…the Christian way.
If we will just turn our eyes to His eyes, we will see the hurting world as He does…with love. If we continue to look at the world from our own eyes of hurt, anger, and sometimes hate, then we will never have resolution. We will only have heartbreak. We must remember that God sent His Son to this world because He loves the people in it. All of them. All the time. It is not His wish any should perish, but that they may come to know Him through His Son, Jesus. Is it not evident then, that if we are to join Him in His work, that we would want to love them too?
Our Hope is astonishing in His ability to love. Let us follow His example and stand for what is right in His eyes, while loving others without reservation, without animosity, without ‘fighting words’. That is His way, and it should be ours as we are His disciples. We have the ability to show the love of Christ to everyone. Our Hope has taught us well…so let’s show Him to the world.
“Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers a multitude of sins.” 1 Peter 4:8
How will you show the love of Christ when you are facing persecution? Please comment here or at www.mystoryofgrace.com.