If I'm Going to Rise Up About Something

I find that I am often frustrated by Christians' response to things.  I'm not saying we shouldn't stand up for what we believe in, or that we shouldn't have the freedom to speak our minds.  I'm not.  There are plenty of things I feel strongly about, and I'm certainly entitled to my opinion, and  I'm equally entitled to speak about those things (based on the Constitution of this country where I live), and I'm equally entitled to "take a stand" about those things. (and i'm entitled to write run-on, grammatically incorrect sentences when I feel passionately about something!)

But what I am not entitled to do is to be hateful.  I am not entitled to be hurtful.  I am not entitled to misrepresent Jesus and His love for ALL mankind, regardless of race, or gender, or political orientation.  I am not entitled to make you feel like you are less than me because we do not share the same religious beliefs.  I am not entitled to judge you.

I am called to be different.  I am called to use my powers for good ("Do not withhold good to those whom it is due when it is in your power to do so.")  I am called to love, unconditionally, unequivocally, without reservation or regard to political or religious or any another persuasion.

So if I am going to rise up and cry out and want to make a difference in the world . . .

If I am going to put my energy someplace . . .

If I am going to try to change the world to be what I believe God would want . . .

I'm going to rescue babies, and help dig water wells, and help rescue modern day slaves, and feed the poor, or at the very least I'm gonna spend some time getting to know my neighbors and loving them better.

I could go on.  But I won't.  I don't want to join the melee.  (I think I just did).

I just want to say that I love Jesus.  And I love people.  And if my love for Jesus and you isn't the *first* thing you notice about me, then I need to work on myself before I even THINK about what you need to change about you.

All that to say, before you act . . .before you speak . . . ask yourself, "Is what I am about to say or do going to be a beautiful reflection of Jesus or a hateful reflection of myself?" My answer to that question should drive who I am and how I act in the world that I am called to love.

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