How sad it is when the world has lost it’s ability to love.
Looking at social media these days, I think we can all agree that people are far from loving. (Understatement of the century.) There are so many opinions out there these days that are less opinions and more targeted attacks on anyone that may see things differently. I find this incredibly sad. It used to be that we could have a point of view that differs from someone else and still treat each other with respect and love.
Today if my opinion differs from yours then there must be something wrong with me.
Listen, I fully realize that many of us have strong feelings about various topics and I personally think that’s awesome. The world would be an incredibly boring place if we all thought and felt the same things.
I love the diversity.
I hate the nastiness.
When my opinion or belief suddenly allows me permission to physically or emotionally abuse another person, then we have a problem that far surpasses the topic at hand. This week alone I have read numerous articles from some incredibly gifted and scholarly people who openly give allowances to uncalled-for behavior simply because others don’t agree with them.
Honestly, I don’t think it matters what side you are on. I think it matters more, who you are on the inside. Who are you when no one is looking? Who are you when everyone is looking? What matters more is the person that you are when you are faced with opposing views. Who are you then?
Please don’t misunderstand me. I’m not saying you have to bend to someone else’s opinion. I’m certainly not going to. I’m going to stand on my own beliefs and views even if you don’t agree with them. What I’m not going to do is call you names, start cruel and unkind dialogue on social media, and beat you down for being of a different mind than me.
Believe it or not, we can totally disagree about anything and everything, and I can still get the door for you, I can still have a cup of coffee with you, and I can still be kind to you. In fact, I may not get my way in certain situations, we can have a heated discussion that is open and honest and fueled by our own differing viewpoints and I can still show you respect and love. You see, your opinions, beliefs, and actions should never be an excuse for me to be cruel.
So many people are fighting for change in society but true change starts in the hearts of the individual. What kind of change do we really want? Acceptance? We will never have any kind of acceptance through browbeating and harsh judgement. We will never have a society that works well together if we are constantly passing blame on the other side.
Listen, I know that no one wants to back down, but my question is this; Who said you have to?
Forgive me for repeating myself here- but like I said before, I’m not going to. And that does not, in any situation, give you permission to be cruel to me or my family. It does however give you complete permission to disagree, discuss, and move forward.
I’m beyond exhausted with our ability to lie, cheat, and steal to get what we want and to openly try and persuade others that this is okay because I believe my side to be so completely right that I should get my way anyway that I can.
If I am so right, I don’t need to do those things.
Today, I’m asking that before you speak, you check your heart. You ask yourself the same questions we tell kids to ask themselves- Is it kind, Is it true, and is it necessary? Will it lift people up and change society for the better or are you speaking out of anger and aggression? Are you building up or tearing down?
Maybe this post will not change anyone but me, and maybe that’s ok. True change starts with each individual cleaning out their own hearts and lives. It’s when people start pointing inward instead of outward that we see real growth. Until we take an honest look inside ourselves and start truly loving others no real change will ever happen. I’ve never changed anyone by brute force, nor have I ever been personally changed by it either. I have however been changed drastically when someone has treated me with kindness I didn’t deserve. And when I am honest with myself, there is a lot inside of me to be changed.
Real change starts right here, right now, and in the right place- our own heart.
1st Corinthians 13
4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. 8 Love never fails…
LOVE. NEVER. FAILS.