"Why does kindness seem revolutionary? When did hate get so ordinary?" The lyrics from Revolutionary by Josh Wilson replay in my mind over and over. It's true. Why? Over time I've become more aware of this raging battle. "If you aren't like me, we're enemies."
After weeks of hearing the song on repeat, and witnessing this battle explode over the past few months, I longed for change. How long will we hate before a change occurs?
Maybe we don't need to agree. We don't need to be enemies. Not only do we not need to let our judgments come between us, we don't need to be defined or accepted by the world. Is that too far? It's true though. If you look, the Bible will show you again and again how much God loves each of us. The coolest part is that he loves us knowing that we have disappointed him again and again.
I watched Overcomer last fall and several times since. One of the quotes that stuck out to me the most was when the man in the hospital was talking to the coach. He said, "What do you allow to define you?"
There's a lot of depth to that question and I think we can even add who to that. Do you allow the word to label you? Is your past what defines who you are and will be? Are the bullies of your past still taunting you with their lies?
We are chosen. Adopted in love. The world can hate, but the hate of the world is nothing when compared with the love of God. Love. Love each other and let God judge. He chose each of us even in our sin, so why can't we love one another.
Ephesians 1:4 (ESV)
Even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love.
Knowing how much God loves us despite the fact we so consistently spit in his eye, why do we take it upon ourselves to judge and ridicule others. We all make mistakes, I'm quite possibly among the top ten, but God has redeemed me. This doesn't give me a right to keep sinning, but it has given me compassion for others who don't know God's love. They have no hope. They're scorned for what they do, but I don't know their story and have no reason to place judgment, though I do.
John 8:7 (ESV)
And as they continued to ask him, he stood up and said to them, “Let him who is without sin among you be the first to throw a stone at her.”
Wow! Raise your hand if you've never sinned. That would certainly not be me with my hand raised. Ultimately, let God be the judge for he sees the big picture and knows a man's heart. Take heart for God himself says:
Romans 12:19-21 (ESV)
19 Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.” 20 To the contrary, “if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink; for by so doing you will heap burning coals on his head.” 21 Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.