It’s no secret that our country is in chaos right now. Every day we see individuals and news outlets screaming about violence and injustice, and perhaps rightfully so. I’m not writing to debate what the injustices are or which side of the political aisle is correct in their view of our current situation, but rather to inspire community and attempt to forge a new path in our society, one where everyone is accepted and we can all walk together.
To do this, we must learn to love one another. We must learn to put aside our hatred and distrust for others in our community and love everyone. This does not mean we have to agree with or approve of every person’s actions or beliefs. Bad ideas should be called out. But we can look beyond the idea to see the person and their character. In the political realm, for example, opposing ideas and civil discourse are foundational to a functioning society. However, when one fails to separate a person who holds an opposing opinion from their ideas and beliefs, the thoughts and recollections of that person become tainted and skewed in such a way that one begins to turn against and disown their neighbor, for the mere crime of holding a different belief.
However, if one chooses to reject solely the ideas and see other people for their character and unique personality, we are able to build meaningful relationships with each other, constructing bridges and laying the foundation for a united society. This is not to say that we can’t try to convince and sway each other to believe different viewpoints through means such as civil discourse, but rather to recognize that a person’s beliefs should be respected and treated separately from their character and personality.
Love isn’t just about accepting others, it’s about caring for one another and relaying a message that every person matters and holds a stake in our society. It’s the time someone spends volunteering at the local nursing home, talking to residents and serving the elderly community, the story a parent reads to their child’s class, bringing smiles to children’s faces as they listen intently, or the heartfelt card sent to someone struggling with grief.
Or at least, that’s what I imagine love looks like.
With that in mind, I find it interesting the way 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 defines love:
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
As a Christian, I feel called to be kind and express God’s love to everyone I encounter, no matter what they look like or the principles they believe. But when I think of love, I typically picture a heart of some sort, hugs and kisses, and people putting others before themselves. So the first question that pops into my head when I read this excerpt is “Why is patience the first quality the Bible attributes to love and not kindness?”
Click here to read more.
SOURCE: Christian Post, Joshua DuPuis