I, like many people, hate making mistakes–either I feel embarrassed, and frustrated with myself or time I’ve wasted, or am feeling bad for being reprimanded about something. In the last 24 hrs, I made a BIG mistake:
I said something on Facebook about Chick-Fil-A.
Stupid, I know. I should have known better.
I hate getting into political arguments (let’s face it, no one debates anymore), partially because I’m pretty opinionated myself and partially because, for some reason, more and more people seem to lack the ability to respect other people’s opinions.
So, I’m going to make another big mistake and share a few secrets (and hints for life) with you that, if we would all just accept these, would make the world a much happier place. Secretly, I sort of hope no one reads this because it’s bound to incite unsolicited, unhelpful remarks, but I feel the need to post anyway.
- Not everyone who is protesting Chick-Fil-A is anti-Christian
The fact of the matter is that CFA financially supports known hate groups. Regardless of where you stand on LBGT issues, supporting a hate group of any kind is wrong.
- Not everyone who supports Chick-Fil-A is homophobic
Despite #1, CFA does do some wonderful things in the community which should be supported.
- Believing gay marriage should be a constitutional right does not mean someone does not believe in the sanctity of marriage
There are many gay couples who have been in very long-term, monogamous relationships. (Gay does not equal promiscuous, despite what you may have heard otherwise)
- Being against gay marriage does not make someone homophobic
Some people really are fighting for an issue that they see as right vs. wrong, not straight vs. gay. Just because you believe something is wrong does not mean that you also want to discriminate against a particular group.
- Preventing a business (who operates legally and follows the law) from coming into a community because you disagree with the CEO is unconstitutional and should not be applauded.
- When you are afraid of losing constitutional rights, such as the right to own a gun, freedom of speech, etc, take a minute to consider what it must feel like to actually be denied certain rights and have a little sympathy, mercy, love, etc.
- This whole debacle has nothing to do with Jesus and Christianity.
It’s about whether or not we are willing to admit we have all behaved badly. Just because you think you are on the correct side of the issue does not mean all of your actions and words have been justified or appropriate. Take a moment to reflect on if how you have treated people on the opposite side is how you want to be treated. It’s also about whether or not we are able to admit that many of us unknowingly act as if being correct is the most important thing in the universe.
- This whole debacle also has everything to do with Jesus…
…because we’ve all behaved poorly over the last week (or however long it’s been). Those of us who are Christians should know better. We have not loved. We have not shown mercy. We have assumed the worst in others. This unfortunate reality exists on all sides of the debate. How do I know? People from all sides feel hurt, threatened, isolated, judged, discriminated against. When we act in this way, when we judge, when we isolate, when we discriminate, when we hurt others by our actions and words, we are disgracing Christ. Period. Calling someone a bigot, even if it might be true, is disgraceful, period. Calling someone homophobic, even if it might be true, is disgraceful, period. Calling someone <insert derogatory term of choice> is disgraceful, period. Calling someone anti-Christian, even if it might be true, is disgraceful, period. I could go on, but I think you get the point. Why? Because these words do not describe how God sees us. He calls us beloved, sons/daughters, co-heirs, beautiful, etc. We are called to see people through the eyes of Christ, not through our own opinions. We are called to see people as they truly are, not as how they act. It is true that The Way is narrow path that many choose to not take. However, how can you know where you are going if you are too busy looking at where everyone else is going?
- There are gay people who truly love Jesus.
How do I know (other than knowing a few)? Because there are liars, gossips, drunkards, murderers, lusters, gluttons, addicts, etc, who all truly love Jesus. Whether or not homosexuality is a sin is irrelevant because we all fall short. We are sanctified through Jesus alone. Let he who is without sin through the first stone. Don’t get me wrong: sin in all forms should be addressed. However, focusing on one specific thing and blatantly ignoring everything else is not the way to go about it. Also, ostracizing people from the community who are legitimately trying to be followers of Christ is not the way to go either. (If you want to talk about sin regarding sex, you don’t have to leave the straight world to find more than enough topics which should be addressed in church and are not)
- Just because you can does not mean you should.
In other words, “All things are permissible, but not all things are beneficial.” Consider these words before you rant on Facebook or anywhere else on the internet. Dialog is needed, but the internet may not be the appropriate place to have this conversation, especially if you don’t personally know the person with whom you are speaking. Also, blanket statements which throw an entire group under a single label is not helpful and often hurtful.
The world would be such a better place if we would lead by example. You don’t have to agree with someone in order to love them. Jesus certainly doesn’t agree with half the stuff we do, and He still loves us. On the other hand, loving involves much more than simply not hating or simply tolerating. True love involves treating someone with dignity, even when they are wrong. It involves being willing to sacrifice for the good of someone else, even if they would not do the same for you (and even if they would purposefully harm you). Love involves choosing to be the bigger man (or woman), even (possibly especially) when you are right. It involves willing to die for someone, even if they are the one killing you.
Love is radical, difficult, uncomfortable, and, ultimately, a choice. In the words of a wise friend, “Love is not an emotion.” Does love feel great? Sure! Do we sometimes get butterflies in our stomachs? Most certainly yes! However, love does not depend on how we feel. You can love someone, even when it is difficult to be around them. Why? Because love, true Love, is summed up in a single person, whose existence and power does not depend on our mood.