When Love and Tolerance Become Hate Behind a Mask

In a country where “love and tolerance” is the sounding mantra of the time, why do I feel so unloved and so untolerated? As a conservative Christian, I find myself fearful of speaking my beliefs… fearful that I will be lumped into categories with racists, homophobes, or anti-feminists—all of which I am NOT. The insults flying over social media depict a people who are far from loving and united. Are we really living in the “land of the free” because it sure seems like the “home of the hate?” As I stare dumbfounded at footage of children burning street signs, men and women vandalizing businesses, racist graffiti covering vehicles, and even a celebrity sharing her fantasies of blowing up the White House, I am stunned. Where is the love? It’s becoming much harder to find among the darkness these past few months.

Assumption has become the name of the game—a person assuming others must be unloving and intolerant if they hold a difference of opinion. And this does go both ways. If there is any question of where I stand, let me clarify.

I stand with Jesus.

I stand for his truth in love. I will hold to conservative, biblical values while keeping the stones of judgment beneath my feet. I refuse to disrespect other people just because I disagree with them or even if they treat me with disrespect. Because the truth is, love and respect are one and the same. I refuse to disrespect our sitting president because I disagree with his past actions or harsh words. That accomplishes nothing but division. Why fear terrorists seeping in to harm us while we are doing a fine job of destroying ourselves from the inside out? I’m sure they are relieved that all they have to do is sit comfortably back and watch us ignite the match of the forest fire that will essentially wipe us out.

This idea of “love” we think we know is NOT real love.

Real love speaks the truth in order to bring healing and restoration. It might sting at first but ultimately saves from harm.

Real love is respect… respect for ourselves, others, our leaders, our country, our world, and our God.

Real love is not easy. It means being selfless in a self-serving world. It is knowing when to bite your tongue and when to speak your mind.

The bottom line is, real love is Jesus.

Jesus was not a racist, a homophobe, or an anti-feminist. In fact, his own skin would place him directly in the midst of the “minorities” while he broke bread with ALL who would allow him to (no respecter of persons—Romans 2:11 &  Acts 10:34), and stood in the gap for a woman destined to be stoned to death (John 8:1-11). He called sin SIN while still loving the sinner.

Now that is LOVE.

Bottom line is, fighting fire with fire is pointless. We all just get burned.

Luke 6:35 But love your enemies, do good, and lend, hoping for nothing in return; and your reward will be great, and you will be the sons of the Most High. For He is kind to the unthankful and evil.

Romans 13:10 Love does no harm to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfillment of the law.

I Corinthians 13:13 And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love.

I Peter 4:8 And above all things have fervent love for one another, for “love will cover a multitude of sins.”

No matter what side you stand on politically, my prayer is that we see eye-to-eye on these valuable points: love does not assume or judge ignorantly. Love is not divisive. Love is truth. And ultimately, love is action!

In light of Valentine’s Day quickly approaching with its sounding theme of love and “love conquers all” being the hot topic amidst the political strife, I will be following a different mantra of love:

John 13:34-35 A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.

Today, let us celebrate this different kind of love—the love Jesus always displayed… not the love and tolerance that has become nothing more than hate behind a mask.

 

Comments 26

    1. Stephanie Gilbert Post
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    1. Stephanie Gilbert Post
      Author
    1. Stephanie Gilbert Post
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  1. Thanks so much for sharing your heart. I can tell your love for Jesus and others burns deep. I am finding myself asking whether my love for Jesus actually compels me to speak out though. As you so beautifully put it, Jesus spoke up for the woman others despised, for the vulnerable, for the outcast. He took actions that were unpopular and seen as subversive by the rulers at the time, from proclaiming “I am” to overturning the money changers tables — people who were enriching themselves at the expense of others. At what point do I speak up respectfully for the sake of others rather than remaining silent in the face of an injustice that I believe goes against the love of Christ?

    1. Stephanie Gilbert Post
      Author

      Such a good question that I have to ask myself all the time! I pray for wisdom to know when and how to speak up–for God to open up obvious doors for me to take that hard step. It’s all about being studied up in the Word and tuning my heart to his. Definitely a growth process for sure! We definitely must stand up for those who can’t themselves and carry each other’s burdens. It all starts at home in our own neighborhoods! We must be Jesus to everyone God brings into our lives…we must stop complaining and do something. Speak with our actions over our words. Thank you for sharing!!

    1. Stephanie Gilbert Post
      Author
  2. I really enjoyed this Stephanie! This moment in time is so divisive and many have felt the need to speak up. Some don’t use filters, many people don’t use tact. But if there’s anytime to stand up for unjustice, it’s now. It’s just too important to stand down, and bite our tongues. There is a respectful way to fight for what you believe in, and I pray we all keep Christ in the forefronts of our minds when making our voices heard.

    1. Stephanie Gilbert Post
      Author

      Yes ma’am! So true! Share our beliefs and convictions but do so tactfully and love our brothers and sisters and neighbors as we do so! Totally agree.

  3. Beautifully written friend. This time in our country is so sad for so many reasons. I’ve turned a blind eye to all of it fearing how I would truly react. I don’t know if that’s the right response but it is true.

    1. Stephanie Gilbert Post
      Author

      Girl, I honestly have had a difficult time too. I’ve tried to just close my eyes to it too a few times…but I just couldn’t anymore. Time to spread that love and truth. Love you, friend!!

  4. This is a word of truth and spoken with wisdom and love. I too have just been so dismayed by the news and Fb posts lately that I keep wanting to lash out. Knowing when and what to say is so important. That’s why this is so timely and written with grace and truth. I have been touched by your posts in the past and continue to be blessed by the calling and talent that God has given you Stephanie. Jesus IS the truth and the way and there is no other way but him. Thank you for this post. I love you.

    1. Stephanie Gilbert Post
      Author
    1. Stephanie Gilbert Post
      Author
  5. Absolutely beautiful + exactly my thoughts. Calling out “love” but bashing everyone else along the way is not love. Love is NON JUDGEMENTAL and unconditional – thank you for sharing this!!!!

    1. Stephanie Gilbert Post
      Author
    1. Stephanie Gilbert Post
      Author
  6. Stephhhhh!!!!! Wow. I am smiling, teary-eyed, and praising Jesus over your heart-felt words. You absolutely nailed it with the problem in this world, truth. Truth will set us free and once we start being truthful with each other, we invite Jesus in and so does His love.
    We tend to focus so much on our leaders that we forget God calls us to “pray for our leaders” – we are all imperfect. I’ve heard it before that we are nation that will implode before another nation attempts to destroy us. Its a sad thought, but we WILL rise up and continue to keep our eyes on HIM.
    THANK YOU for sharing, friend. I will be sharing 🙂

    1. Stephanie Gilbert Post
      Author

      Girl, you have no idea what your kind words mean to me! And yes, we absolutely must start praying for our leaders rather than just sitting around complaining behind computer screens. If we really want to make changes, we must use kindness, compassion, and love to do so. Thank you for your wisdom, friend!

    1. Stephanie Gilbert Post
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