I (Amy) might be viewed as a hippy by those who know me well, and it’s partly true. I eat clean. I birthed my babe at home. I give away a lot, and buy little. I would prefer to sleep in a van (but my boys wouldn’t). I daydream about standing on the street holding a “free hugs” sign (anyone want to join me? My boys won’t). And I truly believe that Love makes the world go around.
The hippy movement may have had its problems, but there was truth rooted in their actions. Be Love, show Love, live Love, and the rest will work itself out. Okay, it feels pretty darn oversimplified, right?
Matthew 22:36 – 40 “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?”Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”
1 Peter 4:8 Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins.
ALL the law and the prophets hang on these two commandments. Oversimplified? I don’t think so. Go ahead, spin your wheels trying to accomplish all the other commandments without these two. Go ahead, try to raise up your children well. Go ahead, try to stand up for issues of justice. Go ahead, try to change the world. Try to convict people of their sinful ways. Try to make people more republican. Try to make people more like you (And so I digress). Try to do it without the two most important commandments.
Everything we do begins with Love or without Love. Choose to go without Love and you go without God. Success is impossible. Go with love and you’ll still make a thousand mistakes. But you will have God. And you will find meaningful encounters.
Cameron Strang wrote in the January issue of Relevant Magazine:
“Don’t be a Jerk. 2014 wasn’t a banner year for Christians public discourse. Social media has opened the chance for every person with an opinion to spew whatever they want without filter. Listen, it’s OK to disagree or take a stand. But keep in mind the golden rule and treat others the way you’d like to be treated – online and off. Let’s be a little more humble and realize our opinions aren’t the only valid ones.”
Cameron gave Christians a lot of grace in this small paragraph on page 4. I have been convicted of my lack of grace.
I’ve been trying to reconcile all the nastiness I see in the Christian culture today. So much slander. So much hate. So much self-righteousness. When did Jesus ever say “he’s such an ass-wipe”? Given the opportunity to jump on Facebook, would Jesus have responded to prominent leader’s skewed perspectives by calling them “ignorant bastards”? I can’t imagine it. Sure, he got righteously angry. He flipped over some tables. But, He was God, and He knew when and where he should take action to be in alignment with his role on earth, and it was honestly seldom.
How can we, knowing Jesus, still spend our time foaming at the mouth like a rabid dog, waiting to pounce on some “other” dirty animal? We are all dirty animals and we have work to do in ourselves first.
And I don’t just see it in social media. It lives among all of us; in our homes, in our beds, at our jobs. It’s everywhere.
Recently, a friend of mine was yelled at, belittled, and degraded by a fellow Christian because her theology is different. Ugh.
Don’t think you can hide it. Hate begets hate. Love begets Love.
I’ve seen churches and communities fall apart because hearts that lacked love built it, led it, and killed it.
Hate begets hate. Love begets Love.
I’ve seen Christians yell at the homeless (afterall, they are lazy, right?). I’ve seen them berate Muslims (because they are the enemy of course). I’ve seen them foam at the mouth because of what I do for a living (I’ve totally gone off the deep end. I might even be a democrat, with my crazy immigration views. Lord have mercy).
Hate begets hate. Love begets Love.
I’ve seen it. (And I’ve done it too).
But try this for a few months. Confess every thought that is absent of love. Confess it and hand it to God. Pray for new focus, for kingdom inspiration to replace the hate. And when you have found God (because remember, when you find Love you find God. God IS LOVE. The places without Love are the places without God), go and do something with new calling, new drive, new passion, and new Love.
Pray that He, that Love, saves you from yourself. Only then can you help save others.
Oh, and by the way, if you find yourself with a new passion, and need help figuring out “how” to use it, come talk to me. I’ve got some people and places that would love to have you (and your God of Love).
Recommended Read, if you’d like new perspective: