So I got slammed yesterday for sharing a post that encouraged Christians to choose LOVE over HATE when responding to the recent ruling. There are posts all over Facebook from both political sides – believers & unbelievers. My Facebook friends list is a mix of all the above so I am seeing a wide range of comments. I see Christians fighting Christians, I see unbelievers being pushed even further from what they view as the hypocrisy of Christianity, I see Christians being attacked for standing on God’s word & I see few people approaching this in a loving way & the majority casting stones from glass houses.
I have loved God for as long as I can remember. I was raised in a legalistic religion & went to a very legalistic private school (which I was suspended from for piercing my ears). Despite the faults in the community there were still some very godly people who influenced my life. There was never a time in my life that I “turned away from God” but more times than I care to admit that I made choices that grieved Him & even angered Him. However, He never stopped loving me. I’ve “lived in sin” & suffered the consequences of those choices. When I was an unwed pregnant teenager there were a lot people who could have judged me & condemned me & put the fear of burning in the depths of hell unless I repented. Instead they loved me. A friend recently summed it up like this to me:
There are two different views of God. One view is of a Father with His paddle who is coming to spank. The other is a Father who is trying to love His children into repentance before He spanks.
God will judge. That’s up to Him. Until then He said I am to love. Love does not mean acceptance of sin but rather seeing the worth of the human despite their horrible sin. Jesus saw that in me and that is what I will see in others.
As a Christian who truly loves the Lord – I still am not perfect. My husband is not perfect & our children aren’t either. When we got married Tim believed in a God, but that was the extent of it. For years I tried to change him. I “preached at him”, bribed him, blackmailed him, begged & pleaded with him to no avail. Then one day God told me to stop – I wasn’t my husband God! All God asked me to do was let my Light (the Holy Spirit in me) shine so bright that my husband would see Him in me. Several more years past & it seemed like no matter how bright I tried to shine He just wasn’t seeing it. Then the very worst day of my life happened. Our world stopped & Our entire family was in the darkest of pits. I will never forget holding my son’s lifeless body on my porch fearing my husbands reaction to God. The next morning I laid in a bed with the strongest man I know next to me completely broken & wailing uncontrollably. He looked over at me & said, “I want what you have. I want your faith.” After all the years praying for his salvation it was in the dark that the Holy Spirit did His work. That day I left to write my son’s obituary & while I was gone my dad & pastor were praying over my husband & God gave him a vision. (The same man who once told me Moses was smoking dope when he saw that burning bush had a vision?!) Eyes wide open, he saw Truman surrounded by the most beautiful LIGHT & in Tim’s exact words, “LOVE.” For those of you who weren’t there – Tim was baptized after Truman’s funeral.
You see I could have basked in self-righteous pride, pointing out all my husbands sin to him (& there were some pretty big issues), trying to scare Him to the God out of fear of hell. But that wasn’t what God asked ME to do. I had to let my light shine, standing firm on MY beliefs & what I Knew to be true. I didn’t condone or excuse or even tolerate the sins my husband was committing, but it wasn’t my job to convict Him. I trusted God was preparing his heart & I waited on God’s timing (NOT mine). Ultimately, the choice was Tim’s. Because we serve a God of choice. He gives each of us the choice to accept His grace & eternal life with Him.
We each have our own journeys & convictions & God is so patient & merciful He doesn’t expect perfection from us. I am not saying there isn’t a time for Biblical correction. I personally just believe we each have different walks. I don’t know where that woman struggling with anger is on her journey or that man struggling with pornography. So unless God convicts me to point out the sin in someone’s life I am going to choose to pray for them & love them the best I can. And if I ever to have to point out someone’s sin, I certainly better remove the plank in my own eye first. I have really awesome godly friends in my life. Some who have had to had to show me accountability – BUT each time they did they spoke LIFE into my life not condemnation. I believe we always have the choice to stay under the protection of His Sovereignty or the choice to do things our way & suffer the consequences, but I believe in a God who is love. Like I said at Truman’s funeral, “My God is still Good. He is the same today as He was Yesterday and He will be he tomorrow.”