Posted by: janpierce | August 25, 2012

Can I Love Them Both?

   I’ll admit it right up front. I’m a people pleaser. I just want everyone to be happy. Sometimes that’s an okay thing, as in being all things to all people a la Paul, and sometimes it moves me into an uncomfortable place where I’m not sure I’m honestly conveying the things I believe. Am I soft-pedaling to keep someone else happy? Am I saying anything goes and I don’t have convictions? No, I’m not.

Here’s the thing. I believe abortion is taking a life and that’s not a choice we have. I believe capital punishment is wrong for the same reason. It’s not that a horrible criminal should get away with his heinous deeds, it’s that I don’t have the right to take another human being’s life– that’s God’s work. That’s also why I don’t believe in war.

In the broader scheme of things, it really doesn’t matter what I believe on any given issue. What matters is what is ultimately God’s truth. I may fervently hold to some belief and I could be totally wrong. I’m not going to know for sure in this life, so I just move ahead believing the things God has shown me and trust that, in the end, He’ll show the same grace to me that He showed in having Jesus die for my sins.

So… I have strong beliefs, but I’m flawed. And, everyone else is in the same boat. So here’s the question I’m pondering today? Can I love everyone, despite their beliefs, errors and all of their other warts? The answer: Yes, I can, if I so choose.

So to the guy who thinks rape won’t ever lead to impregnation? I disagree. I think that is a silly idea that you might want to be true, but it isn’t. Still, I can love you.

To the guy who said that AIDS can’t be transmitted through heterosexual sex, you’re wrong, but I love you anyway.

To the FOX news guys who say they’re fair and balanced…who do you think you’re kidding? But I choose to love you anyway.

And to the hippie dippies who say anything goes and everyone can make any choice they want without accountability, I don’t agree with you either. But I love you. A lot.

Seriously, as our elections loom large on the horizon and political noise assaults our ears every day, as there are horrible tragedies in the form of shootings, natural disasters, gang activity, the list goes on. So much divides us. Can we, who love God and believe in the saving grace of Jesus, choose to love others? Can we pay forward a little of the grace shown to us each and every day as we live our lives imperfectly?

My answer is “Yes, we can, if we so choose.” And that means I need to stop reacting to the things I find ridiculous in the conservative world. It means I need to acknowledge that I may be wrong in the way I think about life’s most important questions. Repeat after me: I could be wrong.

Life is short. We may get seventy or eighty years on this earth. I’ve already lived a whole bunch of my years and I need to pay attention and get it right in the years I have left. Getting it right means being humble enough to know I don’t have all the answers. I can believe with all my heart, but at the same time I need to extend grace to those who disagree. Let’s do it and see what happens.

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