I was sitting here, half watching a race on television because that is where my son is and I do try to understand the things he enjoys. As I sat here, half watching that and scrolling somewhat mindlessly through social media sites I couldn’t help but wonder one thing. Where, where, where, did all the hate come from? There are so many people who want acceptance and tolerance, but refuse those same things for others.
The person of one religious faith wants acceptance, expects converts, but calls those who believe differently names. There are those who claim to be one thing, and yet twist and turn the Word to be self serving. There are those who do evil in the name or under the disguise of religion. then wonder why people turn away.
There are those who choose to live alternative lifestyles. Whether it is by choice or birth is not the point to this, the point I am attempting to make is that they not only expect but demand acceptance, but cannot-will not accept that there are those who think that their lifestyle is wrong. That does not mean that they hate them, or fear them. It simply means that they do not agree…period. (Of course there are those who hate and or fear, but my guess is that number is much smaller than we are lead to believe.)
There are those who seek to rule over others. They use what ever measures that are necessary to take control. Even if that means innocents will die. There are those who are in control who misuse their authority to destroy lives. Either by mass murders, by rounding people up and placing them in prisons, or by forcing them to accept and act in ways that is contrary to their beliefs.
There are those who make laws and rules and will not allow citizens to help those who are struggling. Acts such as feeding the homeless in some areas is illegal.
The list goes on and on and on
Bullying. In any sense. For the kids at school, on the bus, on the playgrounds who are tormented and tortured through various methods. When one is struck, one’s belongings are taken, one’s person is attacked and insulted. When a worker is verbally attacked or even physically assaulted in some manner, that is bullying.
I can’t help but sit here and wonder…………
What if, we actually acted? What if, for the Christian…or even the non-Christian who ‘gets this’ were to act as the Bible instructs us to? What if, instead of hate, we lived, acted and reacted, in compassion and love?
Jesus the Christ, was and is the perfect example for this. He walked, talked, He lived, among the sinners He came to save. He forgave the sinner, He healed the sick- even placing His hands on the leper. He spoke with the Gentile lady at the well when Jews simply did not speak to Gentiles. He ate with tax collectors, He called the Religious on their ways, He lived a life of love. Without judgement, without condemnation, without hate. He loved, He spoke with them, ate with them, spent time in their homes. He even said that it was not for Him to judge, that was for the Father in Heaven. He came to give the best example of love.
And yet, humans took the message He brought and twisted it to serve their purpose.
What if, we saw and understood our mistakes, set them away, sought forgiveness and then lived a life of compassion. A life of mercy. A life of peace and forgiveness.
What if, instead of condemning those who seek to help others, instead of making laws to punish those trying to make and be a difference, what if, we sought to find a solution that is acceptable to the examples that have placed before us in the Bible.
What if, those who don’t believe, for one day set aside their prejudices and hatred and sought to follow the way of love? For we are called to love one another. What if, we actually did that? What if, we allowed love, compassion, mercy to guide our steps in the taking care of one who is hungry.
What if, we set aside our differences in political beliefs? And honestly worked toward correcting wrongs that have been done by all sides. What if, instead of tossing slurs and insults at each other, we worked together to rebuild this great country?
What if, those who are seeking acceptance and tolerance- learn to accept and tolerate that there is always going to be someone who doesn’t agree with their choices. Be it the use of narcotics, abuse of alcohol, domestic violence, bullying, over eating, driving too fast, body art or what ever they do that is different.
What if…..we actually started taking the baby steps toward better understanding simply by following the principles of loving our neighbor. Not judging, not condemning, not insulting or attacking…simply following a directive to love your neighbor as you love yourself.
I imagine, that it would be a totally different world.