Love is the way by which others will know you. John 13:35 “By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”
Lately I have found myself in many conversations with people from all walks of life, people of faith and those with no faith in any higher power. These conversations, of late, seem to be taking on a pattern of love.
We seem to be talking more and more about love and what it means to society; specifically what love,or the lack there of, means to people of all faiths. Or better- what it means to non-believers when they see people of faith exhibiting, what looks to them, to be a lack of love for others, even hate. This is so important a subject to me and my friends (and acquaintances) that we need to put aside our worries of what others may think and have this conversation.
The world we live in today is full of overly sensitive people who can’t seem to hold a conversation, especially if the conversation is critical of them or their ways, or a difference of opinion. We are a world of overly sensitive PC correct people. Afraid to offend anyone, even if what we have to say is about love.
What do I mean? Well, I want to be able to say that it leaves a bad taste in my mouth when I see/read someone doing or saying something, in the name of God, that is mean-spirited or lacking in love! And that is from me, a person of faith for many years now, one who is strong in what she believes and won’t be rocked by the actions of others. I can take it! What it may do to non-believers or new believers is another story! One which I take very seriously.
I want to be able to say, when I see someone invoke the name of God to bash a particular group, that I think not only is it wrong, but I think it does exactly the opposite of what we are here to do- we are here to lead people to faith,but our behavior drives people away from faith…. all faith! It seems to me that any time I open my mouth in a public forum to say “I think showing intolerance in the name of God is wrong and counterproductive” I get bashed! I’m going to hell because apparently I’m a sympathizer! I’m soft! I walk the middle of the road and that is a dangerous place to be! I find that funny, because I thought I was exhibiting unconditional love. I didn’t know that was wrong. You love the sinner not the sin; right?
It Can Be So Subtle
I know people who speak hate filled words, criticize others and have no thought of it being wrong. They feel they are doing their “religious” or “moral” duty! They read things like this and think it is not about them. Or they feel I’m wrong. Sometimes this behavior can be so subtle that they don’t even know they are doing it! But aware or not; others will see it. And maybe even worse is that the ones who will see it may be the ones you’re meant to influence; the ones you are meant to lead to God. And influence them you will..………….
In Love I Say
I just want to say, in love, that when we bash others, when we criticize, when we can’t help but to be intolerant of differences, it does not invoke love and it doesn’t matter how many times you say you do this in the name of God; hate is hate. Love is love. There is a difference, you can put a mask on it and call it religion, but the truth will be seen by the people who matter; the very people you are here to lead.
We’re supposed to lead by example.