If You Say You Love God


It’s super easy to preach “love your neighbor,” but the loving part is crazy hard. I think most people really believe they’re loving and kind when they have to be, but the second someone disagrees or causes inconvenience or looks at you funny, the love thing can go out the window real quick.

What I usually see online or in church or in politics or in marriages is that unless a person fits an exact specification of beliefs and behaviors and likes and dislikes, that person is cast out of the inner-ring. I’ve spent a lot of terrible energy trying to carve others into my own image, overriding their point of view, always waiting for others to “come around.” That‘s no better than hate.

It seems Jesus said that “hate is murder” because when we only accept the people who match our values, we are disappearing them. We’re essentially saying, “Be like me or you don’t exist. I’d rather you be someone you’re not.” This is hate, and it’s crushing somebody out of existence.

This is especially obvious in social media, when one wrong word gets you canceled. But it’s worse when it comes to religion. That’s attributing a supernatural superiority to hatred. It gives an awful permission to say, “God said it, not me.” Which is cowardly. And if your god always agrees with what you believe and only likes the people you like—that god is the one you made up to justify your bitterness and to boost your ego. It’s a push-button keychain god that does your bidding. It isn’t the God who will challenge you, stretch you, surprise you, and who loves the people you can’t stand.

No, we cannot love all the things that people do. Yes, I believe in accountability and justice and boundaries. But over all, I want to love my neighbor for who they are and not for my version of them. I believe not in who someone should be, but could be. It’s the same way that I believe God loves a guy like me.

J.S.

3 thoughts on “If You Say You Love God

  1. Religion feeds pride and superiority. Jesus died for us, when we were in full rebellion. His and Father God’s love is not based on our good performance because we can never be good enough. It is all about relationship.We receive Jesus and he lives inside of us, his mercy, love and grace. Relationship with Father God, Jesus and Holy Spirit brings humility because of his goodness to each one of us.

    Like

  2. Thank you JS. I am so thankful that my Father has me in His hands and He changes me deeply. Recently, I began to ask God to show me how to love like He does. Well, it wasn’t long after this that I had words with someone in my family and said some things I should not have said and in the time it took me to get ice for my drink and close the door to the freezer the Lord spoke and said “you just committed murder in your words. To be like me you must now ask for repair.” Of course that was hard to do and there was weeping and a running back to my God. That is where I am learning to live like Him. It amazes me how much the church (religious elite) really get this wrong. I ask God to forgive me where I lack things. He does because of His love. It isn’t about the acts we do or don’t do or the rules we do or don’t follow it is about the personhood and personal relationship of our Father, Son, Holy Spirit that allows us to begin to genuinely love another. Thanks for the great post

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.