Election day took place yesterday. Obama was re-elected president of the United States of America. And as was expected, the social media world blew up. Statuses were being posted left and right, for red and blue. But what got me, was the amount of hateful statuses that a great amount of Christian Facebook friends were posting.
I am fully aware at their anger and why they were posting; I understand. A big part of this was the pro-life issue. I am pro-life. But I would like to remind you that pro-life is not just about abortion. Pro-life means defending and respecting ALL life; from womb to tomb. That means loving your neighbor, NO MATTER WHAT. That means loving thy gay neighbor, straight neighbor, addicted neighbor, homeless neighbor, incarcerated neighbor, republican neighbor, democrat neighbor, sick neighbor, poor neighbor, EVERY neighbor. That means loving the kid who sits alone at lunch, or the girl that everyone loves to hate. That means loving the person who broke your heart or made your life a living hell. That means loving and forgiving those who have wronged you. "Love your neighbor as yourself." - Luke 10:27. This neighbor also includes the neighbor who is the president. I am not saying that you need to agree with or support his policies, but you do need to love him. And responding to him with hate and posting hateful statues in not pro-life. Actually, it's not very Christian.
A Christian is a person in whom and through whom Christ lives. By claiming that you are a Christian, you are claiming that you follow and strive to imitate Christ. Posting statuses and speaking out of hate is the exact opposite of what Christ would do. It does not matter who the person is or what the person believes in, we are not to hate. We are called to love no matter what. “You shall love the Lord, your God, with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the greatest and the first commandment. The second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. The whole law and the prophets depend on these two commandments.” - Matthew 22:37-40
I understand that people are trying to share the truth of the church with others. Quite frankly, I am too. But what makes the difference is how we do it. It comes down to love. People may question my view on love, but this is what love is.
"Love is patient, love is kind. It is not jealous, [love] is not pompous, it is not inflated, it is not rude, it does not seek its own interests, it is not quick-tempered, it does not brood over injury, it does not rejoice over wrongdoing but rejoices with the truth. It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails."
Yes, it says that love rejoices with the truth. But that means rejoice; not shove the truth into someone's face or criticize them because of their beliefs. It is not up to us to criticize or condemn them. Actually, we have absolutely no right to do so. We are in no place to judge or criticize others because of their believes or because they may not agree with something that the church says. We are called to lead others to Christ; not the church. Yes, Christ instituted the church, but the church it meant to lead others to Christ. So we are meant to do the same. And when we criticize and condemn people and shove "the truth" into their faces, that turns people away. To be honest, there have been many instances where, on behalf of the people who do not agree, I have felt hurt and criticized due to what they have had to say about someone disagreeing with the church. Our faith is meant to be an invitation. We can propose the idea to someone, but only they can choose to accept it. Instead of going about throwing the truth into people's faces, we must be an example of the truth. Live as Christ would have lived. Jesus may have gnashed teeth and reprimanded people; but keep in mind that only He is meant to do that. Only God can judge others. And Jesus did it in a loving way. Not once did He force His word onto someone. By forcing your word on someone, you are turning them away. Too many times have I felt turned away because of this. Yes, there has to be tough love sometimes, but tough love does not include criticizing, judging, and condemning people. Criticizing, judging and condemning people turns them away. Therefore, you are turning them away from Christ. We are called to preach the gospel. We are called to preach love and forgiveness and the goodness of God while trying to better other people. Better other people with love. Let your words and actions be soaked with love, only then will you be able to touch someone's heart with the truth. We are not here to change lives or hearts. God doesn't need us for that because only He can do that and only He can change hearts. We are called to invite people to faith in a loving manner and to plant seeds without imposing. We are called to meet people where they are at; then God will take care of the rest. Leave the judging up to Him, because it gets us no where. It just makes us look like hypocrites. Let us be an example of love, then others will follow. We must approach people with open hearts and open minds. As my friend Stephanie said: "its about being wise enough to know that the world was never saved by a strong opinion - only saved with love. Spend your energy where it creates not destroys." So next time you go to convict or reprimand someone for their actions or belief, I ask you to please ask yourself: "How am I going to lead this person closer to Christ?" Meet people where they're at and give them nothing but love.
No matter who is the president, Jesus is King. Have faith and trust in Him. Pray for those leading our country and have hope. Do not waste your breath on words of hate towards the president of anyone else for that matter. Doing such while claiming to be a Christian would make you a hypocrite. Strive to be Christ like and love others no matter what. Do not act out of anger. Act out of love.
"Know this, my dear brothers: everyone should be quick to hear, slow to speak, and slow to anger." - James 1:19.
"But I say to you that every one who is angry with his brother shall be liable to judgment; whoever insults his brother shall be liable to the council, and whoever says, `You fool!' shall be liable to the hell of fire." Matthew 5:22