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.