Dear fellow Christian,
I want to start off this letter by letting you know that we’re in this together. This journey, this crazy life, this learning about God and following Him with every part of who we are. You’re not in it alone, I’m here with you. I want to lay that foundation, I want us to remember the things we have in common, and remember that we’re on the same team. I’m hoping if you remember that, then you’ll know that what I’m about to say doesn’t come from a place of judgement, but it comes from a place of wrestling alongside you. I too am trying to navigate the waters of following Jesus in our current culture, and I know it’s hard and that sometimes what we thought was black and white is suddenly turning gray. Gray is much harder to navigate.
In a culture that debates over everything under the sun, from climate change to abortion, to homosexuality, to organic vs conventional, to complementarianism vs egalitarianism, to gun control, to vaccines, to health care, to politics, we don’t have to look very far to find something to disagree about. Our opinionated world seems to look more for the points of contention than the points of concurrence, and it’s starting to take a toll on us. There are extremes everywhere you turn, but I’m beginning to wonder, Christian, where are the peacemakers? Where are the peacekeepers? Where are those among us who will call for love above all else, and a love that is for everyone not just the people we agree with. Where are the people who look different from the world, and who love unconditionally, outside of their own ability, but because He first loved us? Didn’t the word that became flesh for us, that became the sacrifice for us, say that they will know who we are by the way we love one another? Does the world know who we are and who we are loved by? Do they know that they are loved by Him too because of the love we show them?
We forget that we are His hands and His feet, and that the words we speak bring life or death. They bring healing or they wound. And I want you to know that you can choose kindness over speaking your mind in “love” that feels like hate. No matter what denomination you come from, you can choose to walk in humility and embrace your fellow man with open arms. You can love everyone, even if they disagree with you.
In Micah 6 the question is what can we bring to God to please Him, how can we bring Him delight? Verse 8 contains the answer. “He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God.” Christian, is this the way we are living our lives and walking out our relationship with God? Are we doing justice? Are we standing up for those who can’t stand up for themselves? Are we protecting the innocent, and making our purchases count for something good? Are we fighting for freedom, for those are in chains? Are we loving kindness? Are we welcoming everyone in our lives, whether they look, think, or act differently than us? Are we affirming people, assuring them in their identity and that they too are image bearers. Do we live a life marked by mercy and grace? Do we walk in humility with God? Do we walk in humility period? Do we leave space for being wrong, and for being taught?
The answer to all of the above should be yes, because this is what is good. This is what the Lord requires of you and of me. This is what He requires of us Christian, can we do it? Can you do it? Can I do it? Are we willing to love beyond our own capabilities? Are we ready to put aside the differences that divide and extend the grace that will act like a bridge across the space where our differences dwell. To be honest with you, I’m tired, aren’t you? Aren’t tired of the fighting and disagreeing, and disliking? It’s exhausting. No matter what side of the fence you sit on, conservative, post modern, emergent, feminist, traditional, it doesn’t matter. You’ve been a part of the problem. You’ve been a part of the arguing. I’ve been a part of it. But it’s time Christian, to fight not against one another, but for the souls of the lost. It’s time we fight for their hearts. It’s time we touch them with kindness, humility, and justice. It’s time that we are known not for words of judgement and hatred, but for words of life. It’s time we are known for the love we show, not just for the “love” we say.
“Let us not love with word or with tongue, but in deed and truth.”
I hope you’ll wrestle with me, and wrestle with God as we try to walk out His word, His truth, His love. I hope that this olive branch I’m extending to you will be received, and that even though maybe we disagree on some things, we can continue to agree on the main thing. That maybe starting with you and me, Christians will start to be recognized not for the judgment they fling but instead for the way we love, because of the way we were loved by Him.