What are you “for”?

Lately, I have noticed that some people are more focused on proclaiming what they are against than declaring what they are for. Just yesterday I saw yet another political bumper sticker that claimed “Republican: because not everyone can be on welfare.” In a local neighborhood, someone has painted “Let’s Go Brandon” on the side of their house, and a small business has a very offensive mural about the current presidential administration. I am in no way defending the ideology of Democrats or putting down the ideologies of Republicans. However, I have noticed a trend recently that some people loudly shout what they are against about political parties, religions, individual lifestyle choices, and so on.

Now some people may assume that this isn’t dangerous: we all have the freedom of speech, after all. However, I don’t completely agree with this. I do believe that we all have the right to think what we want and to say what we want, but there are times when these negative ideologies can negatively impact those who are impressionable and naive. Sometimes these hostile feelings about other people’s beliefs can have deadly implications.

Recently, there was another mass shooting. Which one, you might be thinking, since they happen so often these days. This mass shooting occurred at Club Q in Colorado Springs, a city which has become dear to my heart having moved to Colorado over a year ago. Obviously, there is still an investigation going on to determine the motive for this shooting, but it seems that this attack was driven by hate. What else would cause someone to enter a club that was hosting a birthday party and open fire on innocent people?

I can’t say that I know why this young man (22 years old!) killed five innocent people in Club Q. However, I can speculate that his motivation was grounded in either an obsession or an intense hatred of people who are transgender and homosexual. Either way, five innocent lives have been lost because of another example of senseless violence.

As a follower of Jesus Christ, I firmly believe that our first priority is to love God. Our second priority is to love others. This is not always easy to do, especially in a world that is so focused on political ideologies that oftentimes encourage “believers” to hate others and to blaspheme God. Sadly, I have had to unfollow, block, and unfriend people on social media who are believers mostly because their posts are filled with hate and not love. I cannot understand how someone can know Jesus Christ and still post hateful messages about people. It’s ok to disagree with someone’s views; it’s not ok to plaster mean spirited memes, GIFs, or click bait articles about people.

Christians, we have to do better. If the majority of people who are nonbelievers think that Christians are hypocritical, homophobic, racist, and vengeful, then I don’t think we are proclaiming Jesus Christ as messiah and Lord. Why would anyone want to be in a relationship with someone who is so hateful? If this is how we are showing Christ in our world, then that is how people see Jesus. From my understanding of the life of Jesus, he was loving to those who were living in sin, those who were grieving, and those who were ill; he called out the hypocrisy and sinfulness of those who thought they were righteous. Perhaps, we need to check ourselves.

Our politics should not determine the way that we demonstrate Christ in this world. Our faith in Jesus Christ should determine our politics and the way that we treat other people: no matter what political side they are on, no matter what religion they practice, no matter what gender pronoun they use, no matter what color their skin happens to be, no matter how old they are or how young they are.

Christ calls us to love: there was more that he was for than what he was against. Christ was for healing, reconciliation, grace, encouragement, mercy, and empowerment. What are you for?

Published by bagmac77

I am a high school English teacher, wife, and mother. I love writing about the ways in which faith intersects our modern world.

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