Love Over Hate

I’m going to be honest, I’m nervous about this post. I’m not really sure why, but probably because I’m not an invasive person. I don’t like to stir the pot. I also loathe making others feel uncomfortable because I consequently feel awkward and typically begin to sweat. *heads off to change a shirt, maybe grab water or a snack to finish this post*

I am a Christian. Yes, I have a belief in a God most high that created the earth we live on and the body I live in. For those of you who really know me or follow me on the instawebs, you may or may not have picked up on that fun fact.

I’m not going to lie, this day in age I’ve almost succumbed to society telling me to not be so “preachy” on the ol media sites, because, I might lose a job, ya know. I had this thought the other day and as the 5 year-old girl in me feels, well it hurts my feelings. I thought to myself, it hurts my feelings I can’t talk about the one thing I actually love with all my heart. God bless my husband, I really do love him, but there miiiiiight be some days where its really hard to (*like when he leaves all 50283 drawers open and its *so easy to push them back in after grabbing a tshirt. Ugh). Next to my faith, he comes second; he’s the second thing I love with all my heart. For some of you that first love might be your spouse, pet, job, health, Taco Bell, TSwift, Alabama or Auburn football, whatever. For me? As a believer? It’s my faith in Him, knowing I’m granted eternal life. That’s some pretty awesome love right there. To me it’s the most unconditional love and to those who have felt His love, its overwhelming, so joyous, and life changing. Again, coming in hot with the 5 year-old girl response, it flat out stinks I can’t talk about it. Or can I? Because right now I feel as though it’s frowned upon and I’d be walking on an ice pool constructed by Elsa, ready to crack in a million pieces. But I say to myself, people talk about a lot of things in their daily life they love. I mean if you really want to know what people love, what they live for, go look at their Instagram account. It actually doesn’t sound silly when you think about it, because it truly is a medium in which he or she portrays what they value. It unintentionally happens.

** sigh **

I feel as though right now in our society, people are casting stones at us Christians. And it’s usually because WE are the ones not exemplifying Christian behavior, a la casting stones at others. So yeah, it leaves those on the outside confused on indeed what we’re all about, right?

Christians, to sum up our purpose in a nutshell… We are forgiven and we are called to love. Also, contrary to what others might assume, we actually don’t have it all together. We aren’t perfect. It’s quite the contrary. We’re messy, we’re broken, but we’re loved. And to the Christians, we find redemption to our sin in knowing because of His grace, we are able to draw closer to him in those moments. We believe we were forgiven of sin, freely to live, and yet we sin every day (just like everyone else), consequently deepening the confusion of those looking in on the outside of Christianity. But Christians, please don’t take advantage of that grace. Because when we take advantage of that gift, and we’re name-calling, or finger pointing, we know that isn’t how He intended for us to utilize that grace.

You see Christianity is interchangeable with hypocrisy. You outsiders are right. We go around saying do this, don’t do that, and then we fail to all the things we’re telling other people not to do (gossiping, lying, gambling, adultery, etc.). So I get it, you guys have a right to be confused.

But lately where I’m most confused has to do with love. And it actually goes for both sides of the spectrum.

See, fellow Christians, we’re in a time right now where morals and values we believe in are being tested every day before our eyes and specifically through conversations. Most critically, people want to see and hear what WE, the Christians, have to say. I’ll be honest, it’s tough, because it feels like our voice is getting smaller. It seems like any time we speak, our voices are diluted with a mob of others pushing another agenda, and silencing what we have to say. And if we speak our mind or the truth we believe in, if you will, we’re called bigots because of intolerance or not respecting what they believe in. It’s honestly exhausting trying to keep track of it all, because the negativity is really all we see and hear. The ramifications are heartbreaking… for all. The ramifications (hate, disgust, whatever you want to call it) continue to divide us as a society and prevent everyone from moving forward.

The horrific incident in Charleston is such a wonderful example when the victim’s families were interviewed and spoke out in love, forgiveness, not hate. See there was one family member of a victim and she not so simply forgave and loved the man who shot her fellow loved one. CAN YOU BELIEVE THAT? SHE FORGAVE HIM ANNNNNND SHE LOVED HIM! Isn’t that the ultimate WWJD? (*hops on amazon, finds a new bracelet and wears the thing till it falls off) I’m still in awe of that moment, and pray I would have the same reaction, the same response and simultaneously hope others recognize her strength during such an agonizing time.

Or how about when same-sex marriage across the United States was made legal? I’m not going to lie, I avoided social media. I chose to avoid social media because in the first few hours the ratio of support to hate was sadly heavier on the latter, because, geography. Here’s the thing, how many times in life have you disagreed with a neighbor? Or disagreed with a law? Or disagreed about an outfit your friend is wearing? WHY WOULD SHE WEAR THAT? EW. Guess what… disagreement happens every day. Every, single, day we are all going to be challenged with things that rub us the wrong way, or maybe in your case goes against your internal belief system. So for those of you who chose hate, WHY? What does it solve? How does it make our world better?

Next time, how will you react? How do you redirect the presented narrative? Are you objective to the headline or comments displayed before you? You see… the headline I try and follow is drafted upon grace and truth. I try to sit back and yes, recite the $2 bracelet slogan that went ham in the late 90’s and consider what would Jesus do? How would he react at this moment in our time? How would he react seeing so many people fueled by rage whether because of race, or sexual orientation. I mean didn’t we see him countless times in the Bible where he encountered people with love? That was his MO, if you will. Do you know how many times people casted stones, committed malicious actions, spat and spoke harsh words towards Him (just like what everyone deals with on a daily based on WHATEVER BELIEF, MORALS OR VALUES THEY HAVE)? In addition, he surrounded himself with sinners. You see because the foundation of what we believe in revolves around us loving others, loving the sinners, because we, Christians, are sinners too. Because ultimately when we love others, our greatest prayer is that they are led by love either towards or back to Him.

And so I ask this of both sides, because love runs so much deeper than hate. We are most certainly in a country full of different beliefs, different values, and heaven knows different opinions. I challenge each and every one of you to choose love. Choose love without berating someone else’s beliefs. I urge you to respect one another during those times when you really don’t understand where they’re coming from and quite frankly have a different opinion. Agree to disagree. And good grief, when it comes to social media, I challenge you (I know it’s hard, the enter button is so easy to hit. Fingers are more inclined to type at a rapid Mario Andretti speed when hastily written) to do the same. Actually act accordingly on there most of all, because it appears that’s the glass house everyone hides behind. Love weighs so much heavier than hate. I encourage you to truthfully dig deep and think about this world if yes we follow our internal belief system, while still accepting others. It’s attainable. Because, for Christians, we know there is a judgment day and I doubt that’s a day of pointing fingers.

Love, love, LOVE.

… and for God so LOVED the world that He gave His only son. And that whoever believes in Him, shall not perish, but have eternal life.