Rulings and responses and rants and such aside…
I find myself frustrated with the swirl of conversations going on around me as social media is ablaze with so many perspectives. I am blessed to be friends with people who see the world very differently than I. I am blessed to be friends with people who see the world much as I tend to see it. I am blessed with friends with the wisdom to keep their thoughts to themselves and friends with the passion to say what they believe and how they see things.
I love all of them. And I want them all to be free. I want them all to have the same freedom to live according to their convictions that I want to have for my family. So, whatever side or angle of the issues you may stand, please know that I love you and I want nothing but the best for you.
But I find myself wondering…as the debates of what love is or is not go swirling on…as the accusations fly in every possible direction…as I struggle with what to say and how to say it…
What does love do? If I love people – no matter their lifestyle or creed or whether their flaws are the same as or different than mine – what must I do?
I go back to one of the most powerful descriptions of the nature of love – the God-authored love expressed in its ultimate fullness upon the cross as Jesus laid down his life to pay the death penalty that my selfishness deserved – that I find in Paul’s first letter to the followers of Jesus in Corinth. As I reflect upon this description of how love operates, I find these words jumping off of the page to me:
Love “does not insist on its own way.” (1 Corinthians 13:5)
I know that people on different sides of the conversation could easily use such a statement to hammer the other, but, if you do that, you’re missing the point. Love does not demand to be met on its own terms, but is willing to go all the way to the one loved. That’s why God condescended to come to be born in a stable, walk this earth, and lay down His life for us – because “God so loved the world.”
Hatred will never win a person to share our convictions or perspectives. Only love can do that.
Whatever side of the conversation you are on, please know that I love you. I beg of you, if love is what you are championing, then do what you do, say what you say with genuine concern for those to whom you speak. Care more about understanding someone than you do about convincing them. Work harder to keep the relationships than to prove your point.
Why? Because love does not insist on its own way.