This past week has been a volatile one. I don’t need to rehash it. Terrible things. Terrible actions. Terrible ideas. Terrible people.
Forget Trump. Forget politics. Forget all that.
Let me be clear: I do not agree with the ideology of those who stood in Charlottesville. The racism, the Nazi nonsense, all of it is horribly appalling. I am similarly appalled by the Antifa Communism ideology. And by any side of the “Lives Matter” debates when the message turns violent. I am similarly appalled by what’s left of the Westboro Baptist Church cult. I am appalled by Scientology, by Muslim extremists, and by Kim Jong Un. I am grossly appalled by anyone who calls themselves a Christian and lets hatred and bile fly off of their tongues.
But more than all of these, the person who most appalls me is… myself. I am the chief of sinners. I am worthy of no love, honor, or respect. I am the scum of the earth.
Yet, my God loved me enough to come to this earth, take my sins upon his shoulders, and die in my place.
And because he showed me that love, he calls me to show that same love to those who don’t deserve it.
I’ve seen a lot of anger from my fellow Christians. And it’s understandable. Heck, it’s justifiable. I know these actions and attitudes anger God as well. But at the same time, we must be empathetic.
These people are lost. These people are broken. They are finding hope in the wrong things and clinging to them for dear life.
Though we may not have believed as them or acted as them, we were just as damned as they are once. They are not beyond the redemptive love of Christ or the power of the Gospel.
All of these racism-filled attitudes that have come back into the spotlight in the last several years are a sickness and thousands and thousands are infected. Jesus is both the Doctor and the cure.
But not just for them.
Trump. Obama. Hillary.
Immigrants. Illegals. Refugees.
Democrats. Liberals. Republicans. Conservatives.
Everybody you’ve disagreed with. Everybody that riles you up.
We’re so divided in America right now. The love and grace of Jesus is the only thing that can bring us together. And it’s us Christians who are having the hardest time realizing that – Oh God, forgive us.
If you are spending more of your time being angry than you are praying for these people, your ratios are off. It takes no effort to complain and chastise behind a keyboard, but it takes courage to love the unlovable. Be courageous. Any of these people could have a dramatic heart shift that only God can pull off at any minute. We did.
We just need to have a little faith, hope, and love.
“But to you who are listening I say: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you. If someone slaps you on one cheek, turn to them the other also. If someone takes your coat, do not withhold your shirt from them. Give to everyone who asks you, and if anyone takes what belongs to you, do not demand it back. Do to others as you would have them do to you.
“If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners love those who love them. And if you do good to those who are good to you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners do that. And if you lend to those from whom you expect repayment, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners, expecting to be repaid in full. But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be children of the Most High, because he is kind to the ungrateful and wicked. Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.
Luke 6:27-36 NIV
Founder of BackRowOnline.com & Host of the Back Row Baptist Podcast