Why is it that a lot of us who call ourselves Christians want to defend our beliefs so much? We do it not only to non-believers, but even to our brothers and sisters in Christ.
We know how Jesus lived, loved others, accepted those who the religious crowd did not like. He was kind, loving, forgiving, and caring to all he came in contact (except for the ‘religious’ self-righteous leaders). Then we go out and want to argue with those who interpret the Bible differently, or who don’t believe the same as we do.
It seems to me rather than fight and argue over doctrine, interpretation and belief we would do better to love, accept and show compassion.
This certainly does not mean we have to agree with everyone, or tell others anything goes, but we do not have to fight and defend our way of thinking. Many of us think we have it all figured out and our way of faith is the only way. We think we have to persuade others to come to our way of thinking or they are doomed to hell.
I’m not sure any of us have it all figured out, in fact I know none of us do. We all have room to question, learn and change. I know my wife and I are doing more questioning than we ever did, and we are finding new truths as we walk in the Spirit daily.
When it comes down to it, I feel we should be open to accept others no matter what their way of thinking. People want to be loved and accepted, they want to be happy and get along with others. When we get all religious and defend our point of view, it does more harm and drives people apart more than anything.
My wife and I have been asking God for strength to accept and love everyone. No matter what they believe, what their faith or doctrine is, no matter their religion, nationality, sexual preference or color, we want to see them as Jesus sees them. This is a type of love we cannot do on our own. It is only possible by the love of God within us. We want to love, accept and care for people. Naturally we will not always agree, but we want to look past those areas and love them in Christ. We feel this is the way that others will come to see the love of God, not through condemning and bashing them. Not in trying to prove we are right and they are wrong. Love doesn’t mean seeing eye-to-eye, it doesn’t mean we agree or even like some of the things people do, but it does mean we look past the differences and love them as Christ loves them.
Let’s try to look past the labels and see people who have feelings, who want love and friendship, people we can get to know, learn from, share thoughts and ideas with, and accept as human beings who were created in the image of God.