Monday, February 16, 2015

An Open Letter To The Church In 2015: Be Known For Your Love

Dear Church,

I know that you are frustrated with being known for things that don't accurately reflect who you are (You are not responsible for the crusades or for those who foolishly protest at funerals). You can't always control what people think of you.  You can control your actions and the decisions you make, so make decisions that allow you to be known as the church who:

                Loves the liar
                Loves the cheater
                Loves the unfaithful
                Loves the angry and judgmental
                Loves the homosexual
                Loves the addict
                Loves the Muslim
                Loves the Buddhist
                Loves the arrogant
                Loves the overweight glutton
                Loves the underweight anorexic
                Loves the abuser
                Loves the other political party (whichever the other happens to be)

Be known as the church whose first response is always love. We are not called to choose between love or truth. We are called to both.We love people in the midst of their brokenness because that is exactly where and how God loves them. It's how God loves us as well.  Being fully persuaded first that we are loved is the only chance for growth or change that any of us have. Regardless of what we disagree on, love is non-negotiable. It takes courage to change. It takes courage to leave the sin  that we have that is destroying us and the people around us. It takes courage to admit that we sin, but of course, we all do. Love is the only place where the courage we desperately need grows. There are difficult conversations to be had. There is sin and brokenness to be dealt with inside all of us. To skip the critical, foundational step of loving our neighbor will make that impossible. So, love relentlessly and tirelessly and be the underdog you were always meant to be. Be hated, be ridiculed, but always be committed to doing the hard work of loving others. When you are not sure how our nation will survive it’s own bad decisions and lack of direction, find someone to care for and make a difference there. When no one will listen to you and you are being mistreated, choose to kindle the small flames of love in your heart rather than stoking the bonfires of hatred and distrust. Love, and as you love, know that you are only beginning to scratch the surface on how greatly your God loves you.

Photo Courtesy of Death To Stock Photo

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