Every so often, friends on Facebook will post something like, “If you don’t agree with me on X political ideology, unfriend me immediately!” And I smile to myself and think, “No.”
Now, I’m not trying to be sneaky, like some spy for the other side. I’m not being obstinate, though some might accuse me of that. I just don’t allow political, religious, or cultural divides determine who I’m friends with. At best, such an action is unprofessional; at worst, it is unloving.
When I talk about love, I do not mean that emotion fluttering around your stomach when you see that special someone, nor am I speaking of the warmth in your stomach when you hug your favorite family member or pet. I speak of an action: showing care and concern for others even when you don’t think they are being particularly lovable.
In Jesus’ day, the political and religious leaders grew angry at Him for eating with tax collectors and sinners. Tax collectors were collaborators with Rome. They often overcharged people and kept the money for themselves. They were hated.
If they existed today, virtue signalers would attack them on social media and earn thousands of likes. Political leaders would call for boycotts of anyone even remotely associated with them. Self-righteous celebrities would denounce them.
But that wasn’t what Jesus did. He sat down with them. He ate with them. He spoke kindly to them. Was it because He thought it was okay to be a tax collector or sinner, like some sort of moral relativist? Matthew 9:12—But when He heard it, He said, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. Go and learn what this means: ‘I desire mercy, and not sacrifice.’ For I came not to call the righteous, but sinners.”
Unfortunately, we have degenerated into a society that prides itself on being morally righteous and yet completely unloving. We’ve lost the virtue of showing care and kindness to others who don’t agree with us, especially people we don’t like. Nowhere is this more blatant than on social media. I recently saw a post on Facebook that vilified a political opponent as “pure evil.” When I think of people who are pure evil, I think of people who murdered millions, the Stalins, Hitlers, and Maos of the world, or a serial killer or something. To my knowledge, this politician had done none of that.
How have we come to this? I have many thoughts, but I’m running out of room here. Perhaps, that is a post for another time. Let me leave you with this. Feel free to disagree with others’ politics, religion, and lifestyles, but please show love to them through speech and actions. Have opinions, but show love. Be passionate, but show love.
Love, love, love, love love, love them.