This might piss some you off. I am not writing it upset anyone, not all; I am writing it, because I think it is important and needs to be heard. This may challenge some of what you think. You can choose to ignore it. I hope not. The message of love everyone is important now more than ever.
About a week ago, I stumbled on an event page on Facebook that was full of hatred and ignorance. I was shocked that such a thing could be there waiting for the wrong person to come along and to do what the page promoted killing gays and lesbians. It was there in the title of the page.
It slapped me in the face.
I sat there in my room staring at the page, not sure what to do.
Should I ignore it… do something about it?
I don’t know how long I sat there staring at the hate pulsating on my computer screen. Was it seconds, minutes, hours—I don’t know. Probably not hours, but it seemed longer than it actually was.
In the end, I wrote on that page how I felt. I wrote openly about my feelings and how very wrong it was to post something like that. I reported the page. The page was shut down soon after, but while on the page, I was accused of being gay that was accompanied by a very derogatory statement. I will repeat here or anywhere. Neither upset. It was the callousness and violence of the words and intent that hurt the most.
I’ve never experienced such hatred before.
I didn’t think it could be possible that we could hate like this.
Evil is not word lightly, but that’s the only word that fits. Hatred is pervasive that and stinks everything it touches. We must refuse to let it take a hold of us and eradicate it. We cannot just ignore the evil of hate, if we want to be known for and promote love, grace, and justice we must do something. That something is love. Love without reason, wastefully, and exceedingly.
I wrote about my experience with this page in a previous blog (Love Is Louder Than Our Differences).
What I wish to say here is Love Everyone.
It’s simple, but it can revolutionize our lives, our relationships, our families, our churches, our cities, nations and the world.
Jesus said in Matthew 5 to love your enemies, to not only love those who love you, but love those who persecute you.
In John 10 Jesus says, “I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” The message of Jesus is a call to life and love, to call people to a deeper and deeper expression of life and love. Jesus shatters our old self to create a new one.
In John 13, Jesus said, “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”
We are to love everyone. We should be known by our love. These are not just words on a dry page, but should be something we live out daily. How we do it will look differently, Jesus never told us how, but he did show us through his life, death, and resurrection what it looks like to love others. We just do it.
Is it hard?
Yes, it is, but that does not remove us from this commandment. If it were easy, we wouldn’t be commanded to do it.
You may not agree with a person’s way of life, but that does not give you a right to hate them or excuse you from loving them. If you want to follow Jesus, you need to love everyone. You have no choice. I have stated in many places that being a Christian should matter, it should make a difference in your life and others. This truth is surprising, astonishing, and challenging.
If it doesn’t what use is it?
We need to love everyone—gays, lesbians, conservatives, liberals, Buddhists, Muslims, fat, skinny, tall, short, rude, polite, refugees, sick, healthy, unemployed, rich, poor, and so many others. Not for any reward, blessing, we might get or even to look good in others eyes. No! We do this to glorify God. We do this to point to Jesus, the Lord and Savior of all.
Love is louder than our differences.
Love is louder than our own petty concerns.
Love is louder than our shortcomings.
The associate pastor at my church recently preached on Romans 12:9-21. He claimed that we should preach love more often. I agree. He talked about loving people. How different it would look and what it would mean in different circumstances. It would mean putting the others needs and feelings above your own. It would mean giving yourself to the other person, saying and doing the things that would help the other person. When you speak to someone in pain you don’t blame them or think of how you would rather be elsewhere or say meaningless things, but just be present to the other person. We should be “sincere, share with those in need and practice hospitality.” Love is about “Rejoicing with those who rejoice; mourning with those who mourn. Living in harmony with one another, not being proud, but willing to associate with people of low position. Love, does not repay anyone evil for evil, is careful to do what is right in the eyes of everyone. If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.” How this looks will different in each life and how it affects us will be different.
I set up my own event page called Love Everyone. The premise behind it was to publicly state this truth. Not to set a date when we could love everyone, because I believe this is something we should do every second of every day. It was just to affirm love everyone. I hope all who clicked attending and those who didn’t will read this blog and say, “Yes. Your right. We should love everyone,” and they will join a revolution of love and grace.
I am not perfect at this, far from it. There have been times I have consciously chosen not to love. I need this message as much, maybe sometimes even more. I have failed to love others.
To love everyone is a good idea, but is it something we can do?
I think yes, maybe not all the time, but the more we do it the more possible it will become. So, I too need to say, “Yes. Your right. We should love everyone.” This past year as I have fully committed to the Christian life and affirmed Jesus as Lord and Savior, I have found it my path to love and serve others. I want to do what I can to help and to prevent any suffering. I know I can’t do it perfectly or save the world myself, but if enough of us join together to love everyone we will change the world, because loving everyone changes everything.
I used to think about myself above others, to want what I want when I want it, not give a hoot about the suffering in the world. I hurt some people. I lived in my books. I was lost and didn’t even know it.
Now, I want to love everyone. I try to think more of others than I do of myself. I still want things, but I know I won’t get all I want and that’s ok. I want to serve more than I want to have. I am sorry for hurting so many and hope I will find a way to amend my wrongs. I still read, but that is not all I do. I now want to share my books and my thoughts on them. As my church’s librarian, I am using my love of books to serve Christ. I have found Jesus and that is transforming me into a more Christ-like Christian. I will never be perfect and I will make mistakes, but I am not who I once was. For that, I thank God. I know I need a savior and I am glad that Jesus is saving me from myself.
Jesus died on the cross for us, so that we could live for him.
I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. 12 I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. 13 I can do all this through him who gives me strength. (Philippians 4:11-13)