1 John 4:7-8 NIV
Love one another. Period. If you don't, you DON'T KNOW GOD!
We live in a time of turmoil and uncertainty. People are killing, people are being killed. There is so much hatred in our world right now and with every incident, more hatred ensues. Every time the news reports another shooting, hate. There's a terrorist attack, hate. There's a scandal, hate. There's an election season, hate. I could go on and on about how much hate I see in this world. The most unfortunate part about that is that a lot of it is coming from the church.
We as "the church" have made it our mission to police the world, telling everyone who is right and who is wrong, as if it was our responsibility to keep everyone in line. We have taken a stance of "holiness" that has made us holier than thou and has caused more division and confusion of the masses than ever before. More and more people are leaving Christ because of Christians.
The verse at the top says that those who love know God, and those who don't love, don't know God. That is a sobering thought. It is scary to think that there are thousands of people running around doing hateful things thinking they know God. Jesus told a story about people who get to eternity and say that they did all these things in His name, and He responds, "Depart from me. I never knew you." What kind of twisted things have we as Christians done in Christ's name thinking we knew Him and what He wanted? Believe me, I am casting the first stone at myself. I used to condemn everyone I met for their sinful lifestyles. I was so unloving that I turned my own brother away from God. Where did we get so messed up? How did we miss everything that the Bible said about love and pervert it into something so mean and selfish? How have we as a group of people who are supposed to be known by the love that we have for one another become so hateful and condemning to the point that people would rather abandon God all together than to be like us???
It hurts my heart to see the violence and destruction that we are seeing today. I hurt for my African American brothers and sisters, I hurt for the law enforcement officers, and I hurt for everyone in between. I hurt for those who have lost loved ones. I hurt for those that are so hurt that they felt the need to hurt others. I wish that we could all feel the pain of the other side. I wish we could understand that the feelings that they have, whoever the they may be, are real and painful and true. If we all spent some time empathize Instead of pointing fingers, we might not lash out. I wish instead of riots and protests, we could spend that energy going out of our way to show love.
When I die, I hope that people will say of me that I loved others. I hope that my life will have left a positive impact on this world. If you are someone that I was hateful to in the past, I sincerely beg your forgiveness and hope I can make it up to you someday. And by the way, I love all of you.