I Disagree but… I love You
Families may disagree on many things yet also agree to love each other unconditionally.
Jesus commanded us while he was on the earth to love our enemies.
Recently in the news, Ellen Degeneres was seen enjoying herself beside George W. Bush at a football game.
Some people responded negatively and called her hypocritical for spending time with someone who has been positioned in drastic opposition to many of her views.
What I really respected was the way that she shot that down. She emphasized that you can show respect, kindness, and love to any PERSON regardless of their view.
Recently at a Lifework event in Pompano Beach, FL, there was a short conversation about loving people we disagree with also.
Someone said recently, is it no wonder that young people are leaving churches??
Tony Campolo shared at a conference I attended, “Whenever you draw a line and put people on the other side of the line, Jesus is with THEM, churches need old AND young to connect with others and all.”
Churches should be loving.
Many of us know what the Bible opposes. Many of us also know that Jesus called us to love EVERYONE.
Do we do that? Do we truly do that?
We don’t need to agree with someone to love them.
All we need to do is love them.
Sure, we believe one thing is right and someone else may believe another. But does that mean that we reject them? Does that mean we don’t welcome that person? It shouldn’t mean that.
We don’t have to accept the decisions that everyone else makes.
We don’t have to support the decisions that everyone else makes.
We don’t have to marry the person we don’t agree with.
But, what God calls us to do is to love them.
If we don’t love, we have NO validity.
As the adage goes, “Your life may be the only Bible that some people ever read.”
Are you living a life of love?
Are you living a life that shows what you believe?
In closing, a speaker I heard in October shared a short story about 2 students. One used to be Jewish and converted to Christianity.
There was a Christian event at the university and the one student asked the former Jewish student if he was going.
After he responded by saying yes, the student asked him if was a Christian.
He answers, “Only you can answer that.”
But it’s true.
If people are not able to tell through your actions, what you believe at your core, do you truly believe those things?
Maybe, but maybe not.
To me, that’s the big revelation. I know what I believe. I believe in Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. I believe in the Bible.
I know plenty of people around me who don’t share that view or belief.
And that’s okay.
I do not need to agree with them to love them, and they do not need to agree with me to love me.
Would I be happy if they were Christians? Of course.
But I know their intentions, I know their heart. They have good intentions and seek to help others, I love them.
Back to the initial thought for this piece, Ellen Degeneres and George W. Bush spending time together. They enjoyed the company of the other and though they have different views on some things, they shared a mutual view that the other person as an individual is worthy of love, respect, and kindness.
And really… every human is worthy of those things.
Sure, we will show love, respect, and kindness differently.
As a former president, I could not see George W. Bush enacting action that supports some of the beliefs Ellen has but that doesn’t mean he is not showing love, respect, and kindness.
We can both stay true to our core values and beliefs and also love people we care about.
Here are a few things that I strive to encompass in my relationships:
“True friends will always lift you higher and challenge you to walk in a manner pleasing to our God.” — Lisa Bevere
“Many people are reluctant to show mercy because they don’t understand the difference between trust and forgiveness. Forgiveness is letting go of the past. Trust has to do with future behavior.” — Rick Warren
“There are many timid souls whom we jostle morning and evening as we pass them by; but if only the kind word were spoken they might become fully persuaded.” — Fanny Crosby