The ignorant and belligerent

8 Nov

As a Christian, I’m blessed with a bent toward love, mercy and grace.  Because it’s been shown to me, and I see just how wretched and undeserving I am, I appreciate the cost, and I have a passion for showing the same attitude and behaviors toward others.

Generally, it isn’t that hard to do.  I can see past a brash or bitter spirit because I can have compassion for the pain that causes that type of outward expression.  I can have patience for those who are immature and uneducated in life and in faith because we’ve all been there.  I feel compassion for those who are angry and jealous because that is human nature in its most true form!  And I can have empathy for those who are withdrawn, lonely, or self-focused because isolation is a trap of Satan and it’s terribly hard to escape from.

That being said – I have a VERY hard time loving the ignorant and belligerent.

I read an article today that said “America has spoken and Christians need to listen.” The whole point of the article was to say that Christians need to let go of their conservative ways and move forward in equality and unity and share our faith with everyone and if we don’t, Christianity will die in America.”

Seriously?! And yes, the author was speaking in the terms of “We, as Christians”.  If she has been standing in front of me, I might have punched her in the face.  Look, I’m just being honest.  My stomach was in knots and I felt disgusted beyond words that not only was my religion being misquoted, misrepresented, and entirely misunderstood… but also that it was being done by someone claiming to be like me.

And then I sat and thought about Jesus on the cross.  Literally in the worst agony imaginable, speaking the words “Father forgive them.”

I think Jesus said that for this reason ….

He is so mindful of eternity that He can’t look at us without looking at eternity first.  There is no way He could love us the way He does to desire to save us, unless He first acknowledges what we need saved from.  If there was no suffering for us, it wouldn’t matter if He loved us or not.  Who really cares?  If we didn’t need saved from anything, why would it matter at all if Jesus loved us enough to die for us?

We can see that Jesus has always been focused on eternity as He demonstrated by the fact that His disciples often couldn’t even understand Him because He was speaking beyond the present. He knew this world was not His home, or our home.  And there are definitely two options for our actual eternal home.

THAT is the perspective that gives us the ability to love the completely unloveable.

Picturing the author of that heinous article suffering in eternal damnation with the wailing and gnashing of teeth empowers my spirit to hurt for her.

There might be one person in your life, a few co-workers, an entire family, or just random authors like the one I just described who bring about a rage inside of you that teeters on the sheer temptation to hate them.  They are belligerent, ignorant and seemingly evil.  They are impossible to love on our own.  And they definitely don’t deserve it or live in a way that is remotely honorable or respectable as a genuine Christian (if they claim to be one.)

Practical Application –

Pray for an eternal mindset.

Ask the Holy Spirit to move your soul to a place of deep empathy for their eternal fate.

Don’t be afraid to accept being moved with compassion for the completely unloveable once you do those first two steps, because God will answer your prayer to love them, if you choose to.

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2 Responses to “The ignorant and belligerent”

  1. peacefulwife November 9, 2012 at 1:33 pm #

    I LOVE this perspective! Awesome, Christ-honoring post!

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