“I don’t have a problem with Christianity or with Jesus. Those are good things. But people who act uncaring and intolerant? That’s what I can’t stand. People who talk about love and then act with hate.”
I attended a church in college that when the pastor spoke about God's love, he didn't see it as being all roses and chocolates (that's the girl version of love I've just inserted, not his, btw.) Love isn't just about being nice, he would say, sometimes being nice is showing truth. Sometimes God's love is tough. Sometimes his truth makes us feel unloved or condemned, but it's never that way. God's love is there when we see our sin, it's spilled all over the floor, and he and only he is able to mop it up.
The tough part about accepting all this is that God's truth - and revealed in his Word - is subjective. It's open to interpretation - not because he is (he is the same "yesterday, today and forever" - but because our minds don't work that way. God made us to question things, to search. There are pros and cons to that. It's hard for a person to wrap their minds about a loving God who hates the things that destory our hearts. He cherishes our hearts and knows what is best for us. And when that includes a big "no-no" we turn into children who've just had our blankie taken away. We like it, so we don't want it taken away, but mom and dad knew it was better that we don't suck our thumbs curled up in said blanket when we are 15 years old. We don't want hate in our lives. Ever. It seems wrong somehow. Without hate, is there love? And who am I to hate what isn't mine?
But the thing that gets me about the article is what it says about listening. How many times have we tried to share our faith with someone and not listened to their point of view? How many times have we turned someone away angry because of this? How many times have we (and when I say we I'm talking about any heartful and passionate child of God who loves all that God created and just like him, doesn't want anyone to live a life less abudant than he intended) fulfilled the stereotype we have for being fire-and-brimstone hate-mongers? I know it's too many.
Everyone wants to be heard - it's part of human nature. I've learned unless I know where I person is coming from, I will never understand their heart, and I can only get there by listening. When I am blessed enough to catch a glimpse of their heart, I can see what God sees. I can share from my own heart, not about what's right or wrong but about how I've been changed from inside out. Over and over again, each day. That's more true to most people that any law in Leviticus.
What I'm listening to: Passion's Everything Glorious