Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Overwhelming hate… with Love

I haven’t really written candidly for a little while.

If I ponder this fact… well, there are so many reasons why.

I won’t spend too long on the wrong subject and in doing that, won’t bore you.

You see, I’ve been silent more lately because… well, if you had this old heart you’d understand.

It’s been heartbreaking to watch out country become so very divided. So very lost. So very sad.

We all cry freedom and we all have different interpretations of that freedom it would seem. But are we all so very different? Don’t we want much of the same things?

The freedom to speak and in turn be heard. I mean really heard. You know, when people see past the broken and imperfect way that we communicate (the way that I communicate) and truly hear our heart cry. The quiet call of a person seeking to be understood.

Don’t most of us want to be loved and accepted for who we are? The complete package. Our beautiful imperfections and all… just loved despite our inability to fit into the false package designed by Hollywood and the media.

Seriously… don’t most of us want peace? Don’t most of us want some measure of stability? To know that we’ll be safe sleeping in our beds all night. To know we have loved ones and friends who have our backs. People and a community that we can depend on. And, a society that won’t turn its back on us just because we’re having a rough patch.

Wouldn’t most of us want people to hear us when we don’t understand something? Wouldn’t most of us like everyone to be a little more tolerant, a little more ready to walk with us in our suffering, a little more ready to forgive us when we sincerely and unknowingly went wrong?

The divides in our country… America… well, they’ve probably never seemed quite so huge as they do right now. So much hateful and ugly things being said. And nobody seems ready to lay down their swords.

I agree that there are things which are absolutely written in stone. Rights and wrongs that are non-negotiable… and yet, wouldn’t it be so beautiful if we could meet in the middle and hear each other out?

You see, there is a bridge lying between us.

Standing often unused and forgotten.

Between our two embattled sides of this once great land.

A bridge that though it requires things of us, doesn’t ask that we change before we step onto it and hopefully meet in the middle. We can use the bridge just as we are. We don’t have to dump our baggage or clean ourselves up before using it to cross to the other side.

And that bridges name is Jesus.

Unlike the average human… Jesus takes us right where we are at.

With our baggage… with our scars… with our anger… with or failures… and with our sadness and overflowing pain.

The bridge between us and God. Between us and hope. Between us and rising from the ashes of our inability to pull ourselves out of the quicksand that is the messy life we live in is Jesus on the cross taking all the well-deserved consequences for our having missed His requirements for right living.

We just need to acknowledge our having missed God’s mark for living as He has directed us to and accepting the no strings attached gift of Jesus’ sacrifice. When we truly understand the depth of what God has done for us through Christ on the cross, then guess what?

A truly changed, cleansed, and reborn heart will lead to one very great and noticeable thing in our lives:

               Right living

This is the result of a lost and a sometimes hateful, sinful, and vengeful heart having been won over by the undeserved and life changing love of a God that longs to restore a relationship with those He has created for fellowship with Him.

So… how do we overcome hate with love?!

Giving up our rights to always be the one who has the last word.

Giving up our demands that we be heard, before we have truly listened and heard the cries of those around us.

Seeking God to understand how we can be a part of a solution that has real impact on the people and world around us.

Putting our needs last and becoming the servant that Jesus demonstrated that we should be.

Christian. Little Christ. Disciple. Follower. Believer. Adopted sons and daughters. Children of the King.

We only show that we are these things when we love others as He has loved us.

So, live sacrificially today. Put another before yourself. Be living proof of a loving God.

Seize the day!
Mike
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