I know that these are the days of the social media that has given people everywhere the opportunity to express themselves in many different ways. There are endless bytes of informational blogs [including mine] that are out there commenting on everything from politics to underwear. In a way, I am glad, because I hail from the baby boomer generation in which communication was almost non-existent until people like Phil Donahue, Oprah Winfrey and Dr. Phil showed up making it okay to express one’s feelings.
Well, here I go with my expressions and comments. This morning I got online as I always do each day to read about the latest news, sports and current events of the day. Someone posted a video that deeply disturbed me. It was a video of a young new born baby that was recently born. The mother was addicted to drugs during the pregnancy. The baby was shaking uncontrollably because it was going through severe withdrawal symptoms from the drugs. I was emotionally crushed! How can someone do such a thing? Being the ‘macho man’ that I am, I tried to shake off the horrific image of that baby shaking like that. I couldn’t get that baby out of my mind.
As life continues to move forward, it is becoming evidently clear to me that people are becoming increasely selfish. So this poses the question that I can’t help but ask, “so you really think it’s all about you?” I will confess right now before I get started, that I am also guilty of the claims that I am making in this post. I can remember when I thought that the world revolved around me. I can easily recall the times how I without any regard for anyone feelings, use to go after the things that were important me. Outwardly, I would always be on my good behavior, but when it came down between you and me, I could easily chew you up and spit you out! No doubt, that it was an act of ‘selfishness’ that has caused this baby to suffer like this.
In the past 15 years I can see how society has grown ever increasingly selfish. I had to gather my emotions when I was watching this innocent infant shake uncontrolably in the video. I could only imagine the pain and suffering this little one was going through just to get through the beginning hours of life. It dawned on me, that only when a person can take a step outside of the focus of themselves, can they only see the true suffering of others. It’s only when we expose ourselves to the needs of others, can we then see their needs.
I was texting with a young college student about the recent events regarding Muslims in our country. She claimed to be a Christian. We traded rhetoric back and forth about the recent issues about Musilims in our country. “I can’t believe that Musilims are evil!”, were one of her comments. I tried to comfort her by explaining that not all Musilims are evil, keeping mind that she is a college student and probably has friends at school that she cares deeply about. As I read her comments it was evident to me what her internal struggle was about. It appeared that she felt that she was being forced to make a ‘choice’ to ‘hate’ another person. The truth really was [and I struggled with this coming up in the faith] she probably didn’t want to be preceived as a ‘committed’ Christian around her friends. I didn’t press the matter with her because I knew this was a matter of Christian maturity and believed that some day she would grow into her faith and would be a fiery warrior for Christ.
I could understand why she would feel that way because today’s languange is all about being ‘tolerant’ of others regardless of sexual orientation, religion or race. Well, you can bet that I told her that the Christian position has been the SAME for over 2,000 years; LOVE. Now as believers it is very vital that we understand God’s definition of Love. The Bible says: 4 Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud 5 or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. 6 It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. 7 Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance. … 13 Three things will last forever—faith, hope, and love—and the greatest of these is love. (1 Corinthians 13:4-7, 13, NLT)
Now, the world will use this verse against us Christians to keep us in line. The ‘million dollar’ question that everyone on this planet should ask is: “where does LOVE come from?” Of course the Bible speaks of this as well in 1 John 4:7-8: ‘Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God; and everyone who loves is BORN of God and KNOWS God. The one who does NOT love does NOT know God, for God IS LOVE. By this the love of God was manifested in us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world so that we might live through Him.…’ This verse settles the arguement because LOVE comes from God. Romans 5:8 brings the point home when it says: ‘But God demostrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us…..Christ died for us while we were still sinners.’
What’s the world is attempting to do is re-define what LOVE truly is. When the world says “love your neighbor”, what they are saying is also in the same sentence is total ‘acceptance’ of your neighbor. Now, if we go back to Romans 5:8; Question: what did God do? Answer: He DIED. When did he die? Answer: While we were sinners. Question: Why did he die? Answer: To demostrate his love for us and that we might LIVE through him. So God did accept us too when we were sinners but with the ‘intent’ that we ALL would gain life [or be changed] by the sacrifice of His Son, Jesus Christ! Man, that is great news for all who come to the Lord!
So as believers, we can and should demostrate that SAME love towards others who are NOT Christian. We should love them with the SAME love that God demostrated towards us. Why? Answer: Because it’s NOT about you! The world is calling us names now like ‘bigot’ or ‘racist’ because we Christians stand on our faith in Jesus Christ. I did tell this young lady to pray and ask God to show her the true path to take. As Christians, we love everyone but with the understanding and example that God has so clearly demostrated to us while we were sinners. So as Christians, we can honestly love the homosexual, the Muslim or any evil doer with the ‘heart’ of God.
What we can’t do as believers is affirm or approve of the practices and choices that people have chosen for their lives outside the will of God. With all of that said, I encourage you, if you are a believer in Christ, get ready, because it is ‘open season’ on Christians! The Bible calls it the ‘Spirit of Anti Christ’; it will be coming, if not now, knocking at your front door soon. Don’t be suprised if you might get that ‘bad vibe’ from your friends, family and co-workers because you are a Christian. Remember Jesus said, in John 15:18-19 “If the world hates you, you know that it has hated Me before it hated you. “If you were of the world, the world would love its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, because of this the world hates you.…”
I will quote the Apostle Paul when he said in Romans 1:16-17 “For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, “BUT THE RIGHTEOUS man SHALL LIVE BY FAITH.” When Jesus returns, he will come for His faithful ones. Remember, we can love others with the love of God because God is LOVE. It is unfair when people steal from God and use the precepts of our faith against us such as [love, judging others, marriage and sin.] but don’t believe in these truths themselves. When you know that, then you will understand that it is truly NOT about you!