Lately, I’ve been looking back on this faith journey. I tend to do that a lot. But, today, I want to talk about the shift and the changes I’ve seen in my own walk. My faith and my perception has done quite a bit of changing and growing in the last 13 years. I’ve seen a shift in my heart where I don’t fixate so much on having all the answers. I don’t have to have all the “T”s crossed or “i”s dotted to move further up faith boulevard.
Now I believe this: forward movement and progress up the road only requires that I answer these two questions on a daily basis:
Am I committed to loving God with all my heart?
Am I embracing others with that same love?
That’s it. It’s that simple. And, sometimes, it’s that hard.
For too many years I had it wrong. I thought way too much about how to be a Christian, “correctly.” Today, I don’t t think about that because, ultimately, it’s the wrong path to walk down. It distracts me from the one thing followers of Jesus are called to do: LOVE
Too often, we make the mistake of equating acceptance and love to condoning. We like to pair them together like they are partners. We sometimes have this skewed belief that you can’t have one without the other. This is so not true. We CAN fully love and fully accept others without agreeing with every path others to choose to walk down. Sometimes, we withhold love from others because we don’t agree with their choices. We may not say we are doing that…but our actions (or lack of actions) speak louder than our words. When we do this, we become guilty of silently pointing fingers of condemnation. When we do this, we are guilty of ignoring the log in our own eyes and fixating on the sawdust in some one else’s eye. (Matthew 7:3) Folks, this is one mistake I don’t want to make in my life. On this faith journey, this is one thing I want to get “correct.”
All we have to do is look at our own children to see that it is possible to love others fully without agreeing with every decision they make. We might believe (in our hearts) that our children have taken not-so smart paths but that doesn’t make us love and accept them any less…or at least it shouldn’t. Jesus was continually showing us how possible this kind of love is. Look at the lady at the well, look at the prostitute who washed his feet with her tears, look at the prodigal son story where the Father stood waiting with open arms, a celebration banner hanging on the wall.
And, personally, I’ve seen Jesus love and accept me the same way. I don’t always get this journey right. There’s been times when it’s been my tears hitting His feet.
Today, this is my goal. If I’m called to do anything “correctly” on this journey then it is simply this: to love and accept everyone with open arms.