The last year has been rough on most everyone. People are losing friends, there's tension in families, the Church feels like it's splitting apart.
And I'm sure I haven't handled everything 100% well over the last year. I get incredibly passionate and say things I probably shouldn't. I tend to see certain issues in black and white when there may be room for some gray. I speak too quickly and don't listen well enough.
And I just want you to know, I'm sorry for that. Although most everyone who I've managed to make angry has probably unfriended or unfollowed me by now, I still think it's important to say.
If I've said something that has offended you, I'm sorry.
If I've written something that seems over the top or inflammatory, I'm sorry.
If you feel like I've indirectly questioned your faith or your integrity, I'm sorry.
If my words or posts or actions have hurt you in any way, please know I'm sorry.
My intentions in all of this are never to hurt anyone, never to alienate or demean. I just want to explain where I'm coming from for a minute.
I hate injustice. More than almost anything. I don't think I can even describe what it does to my insides when I know there's injustice that I can't do anything about. This includes discrimination based on gender, religion, race, or immigration status. It literally wrecks me. I get angrier than I can describe.
I love people (well, most people. Some people are the worst). I think that most people in the world are hurting and broken. And I know the only thing that will fix that is Jesus. And I know that He loves them even more than I do. So I want to be sure that I do everything in my power to make sure those hurt, broken people feel loved and valued and worthy. And I want them to know the one who can do that for them. And I want to be sure I'm a good representative of that love.
I also hate misrepresentation of Jesus and the Gospel. I hate when people twist Scripture to fit their own agendas. I get angrier about it than I should. Because to me, it just seems so simple.
Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?
Jesus replied: "Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.' All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.
Matthew 22: 36-40
This is what I try to base my entire life on, whether it's my job or my free time or my political views. Am I loving God and am I loving my neighbor?
This is where I'm coming from. This is where my heart is. Every word, blog, article share and Facebook post comes from this place. I want to LOVE my neighbor. My Muslim neighbor, my drug addict neighbor, my black neighbor, my welfare recipient neighbor.
When an expert in the law asked Jesus who was his neighbor, Jesus replied with the story of the Good Samaritan.
Which of these three do you think was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of robbers?
The expert in the law replied, "The one who had mercy on him."
Jesus told him, "Go and do likewise."
Luke 10: 36-37
This is where I'm coming from. I may not always do it well, I might be too harsh or too loud or too outspoken. But this is where my heart is. This is what I'm trying to do.
You might think it's naive to base a political opinion off a few verses of Scripture. You might think I'm being ridiculous or that I don't understand how politics work or that I'm over simplifying things. And you might be right. I don't consider all the facts, I don't look at all the numbers, I'm not an expert in political theory. But I know how much Jesus loves people. And I'd rather be naive in love than brilliant in my disregard for mercy.
So again, if I've hurt you or upset you or made you feel bad in any way, please know I'm sorry and it's never been my intent. But please understand where I'm coming from, why I feel so passionately.
And maybe re-read some of these stories and see what God shows you. You never know what God's going to tell you when you least expect it.