As I age, I have come to realize that I have fewer answers and more questions. I am less rigid on the boundaries of right and wrong, in the context of people’s personal decisions and lifestyle choices. Things appear more gray than black and white. Now, before I get a barrage of emails telling me that the Bible is very much black and white and we, as Christians, are not to live in the gray… hear me out.
We are all very much alike. Regardless of upbringing, cultural background, religion, political affiliation, race and sexual preference, we are human beings. We have bodies that function the same; and minds and souls. We make decisions for our lives based on what we think, how we feel and what “moves” us internally. We have unique gifts and talents, that when we come together, are used to help and entertain one another. We share a fundamental foundation of truth that is innate in humanity. It wasn’t learned, but has existed inside of us from the moment we were birthed. It says this: Love is right. Hate is wrong. Love is healthy. Hate is harmful. Love is good. Hate is bad.
I do not believe anyone on the planet will argue with that fundamental statement. We, as people, long to be loved and are, in essence, created as an extension of love. Love is internal and inbred in us; but we must be taught to hate. Hate is an external entity that one makes a personal choice to grasp and invite inside.
The Bible says that “God is love.” Thus, He is the absence of hate. The Bible also says we are not to judge one another. In the words of Mother Theresa, “If you are judging someone you are too busy to love them.” Judgment and love cannot go hand in hand for human beings. When we judge it is a hate-driven attitude that then becomes a hate-driven action. For a person to cast judgment, even in the name of God, it is still an action of hate and not one of love. Only God has the right to cast judgment and only God has the ability to be able to judge and love simultaneously.
Part of our human nature is that we want to believe we are right, that we have the answers, that we’re the best, the chosen, that we are as-close-to-perfect-as-a-human-can-be. But, this is just a lie that we tell ourselves. We cannot be perfect and we’re not supposed to be. We weren’t created with an expectation of perfection. We were created out of love for the purpose of love…loving God and loving one another.
That’s what life is all about.
Sometimes we think that we’re supposed to have the answers…but maybe we’re supposed to have the questions. Seeking the answers is what causes growth. The lesson doesn’t lie in the destination, but in the journey.
See, love has no ego. Love is not self-serving. Love doesn’t go into ministry for the popularity of being known in Christian circles. Love doesn’t talk other Christians or other religions down and love doesn’t puff itself up. Love doesn't use fear-tactics and threats. Love doesn’t destroy families and friendships, but cherishes that which God has given for this lifetime. Love isn’t satisfied with fake, shallow, hollow relationships. Love doesn't care about image. In a world where hate prevails in our churches and is spewed forth from our pulpits, love is our only savior and our Savior (Jesus) is love.
At the core level, there is no greater truth than love. "Faith. Hope. And Love. But the greatest of these is love." Everything else will fade away...and all that will be left is love. ~