How Much Do I Love the People I Love?

How much do I love the people I love?

Behold, how good and pleasant it is when brothers dwell in unity! For there the Lord has commanded the blessing, life for evermore. ~Psalm 133:1, 3b

Recently I had a conversation with a family member whom I very much love. He proceeded to inform me how much he hated our former president and that his demise would not bother him in the least. These types of one sided conversations, laced with hate, have been on-going for many years and an opinion other than his was not relevant. Hate disguised as differences in political, race, gender or sexual orientation is never acceptable.

I simply could not take it anymore and honesty prevailed. I told him how deeply his comments hurt me. I have respected and admired all of our former presidents regardless of political party or skin color. The pendulum has swung both directions for years and although I have not agreed with every president, they have all been my president (I know I wasn’t going to talk about politics in a blog again, but this is a much bigger issue than politics). I believe the pain of his words, may have been based on fear of the unknown or race, as well as closed mindedness. It seems our society no longer listens to each other, and society attitudes MUST make every effort to convince others to our way of thinking. This is challenging for me. Why can’t we have a conversation to express ourselves without the need to convince others?

Anyway, it seemed obvious that we were at an impasse and this conversation may very well be the prequel of no longer having a relationship; no longer speaking to each other. It occurred to me that we were both professing Christians and Americans but our difference of opinions were blocking our ability to have a relationship. How can our differences be more important than our love for each other? It also occurred to me that politics, race, gender or sexual orientation did not stop Jesus from loving others. Why should it prevent us from loving people we already love, or for that matter, people who are yet to be known to us as a neighbor? Why should any of these things matter other than love?

Clearly, we have differing opinions, but our opinions should not be judgements and certainly not prevent justice. Salvation offered in Jesus Christ is not based on my ability to earn my way into heaven because of my politics, gender, race or sexual orientation. Salvation is offered solely through the saving grace of our Lord Jesus and gifted to all people regardless of race, gender, political orientation or sexual orientation. It is true that I don’t approve of some folks’ lifestyle, but that should not be a relationship breaker. Behavior makes morality visible, but love is not based on approval.

God gave me the gift of free will so that I could love and accept others. My dog loves me no matter what I say or do. I want to love like that. I love you because I can.

Until next time, may the peace of Christ be with you,

Dale

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