I’ll be honest, I’ve been hesitant to identify myself with any political side in this election. I hate to even write the words “political” and “election” for fear a heated and futile discussion will ensue. Thank God that He is sovereign and in control when governments appear to be failing, am I right?
But I have been thinking about some of the social justice issues that have been surfacing in various avenues and there seems to be a common theme: love, or in many cases lack thereof.
In this complex political climate it’s easy to pick sides and stick to generic stereotypes. There’s the side that places strong judgement on other groups and projects their morals onto everyone else, and there’s the side that preaches love and freedom (of course, I realize even these are a pretty broad stereotypes). But we miss the point when we categorize everyone with specific definitions. People are more than their political views or their posts on Facebook. How we love people depends on our view of their eternal purpose.
If we really look at people as immortal image bearers, we have to recognize that they are more complex than sides and agendas. Our aim in our relationships should be to love others, irrespective of party lines. It should move past pushing agendas and move toward seeing people as eternal beings.
And if we’re going to preach love on either side of the issues, we need to go beyond some generic tolerance. If we’re going to preach that we should all love because Jesus loved, we need to take it a step further. Jesus loved so much that he gave his life in recognition for our deep need for a Savior. He didn’t just tolerate those with different views from his, he died for the purpose of saving them from a just and righteous God.
When we recognize the holiness of God, our eyes become open to our own sinfulness. This should humble us enough to take away the self-righteousness that causes us to pass judgement on others. We all have a sin problem, it just manifests itself differently in people’s lives. But it should bring us all to our knees at the cross.
My salvation doesn’t give me the right to pass judgement on those who aren’t as righteous as I am. It testifies to the world that I can love you (even when you’re in your sin) because I recognize my own desperate need for redemption. Judgement and love aren’t mutually exclusive, but because of God’s righteous judgement, love became necessary.
We can’t even begin to love until we truly understand the depths to which we’ve been loved. And if we can’t love others, than maybe we don’t understand the love with which He has loved us.
The phrase I’ve taken to using lately is “we all need Jesus”. Not just for salvation from eternal punishment, but for this life. I know I can’t muster up any of the love I have for others without Jesus in this life (especially when Sarcasm is my second language). I am not the most loving person on my own. But through God I can love others. And the most loving thing I can do for others is to show them that they too can have Jesus for this life and the next.
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