We Are Called To Love

06 June 2015

This is not the post that I originally planned on writing or posting but I couldn't help myself. If you have been on social media yesterday or today then you likely know about the current top trending issue is. The articles and pictures are endless and keep popping up on my news feed throughout the day. If you aren't aware of this particular issue is then let me enlighten you....

Bruce Jenner.

Or as he is referring to himself and asking of others to do the same, Caitlyn.

**I haven't read the article the link this pic goes to, just forewarning**

By now you have more than likely seen the Vanity Fair cover all over Facebook (if not, a headshot is above) alongside numerous videos of interviews that Jenner has done recently. It is also likely that you have read an article or two about the issue, positive or negative. Or maybe you have been avoiding any contact with this issue whatsoever. In this day and age news travels fast, especially controversial news. And the story of Jenner is just that.

I must admit that the first day I saw the Vanity Fair cover plastered all over my Facebook I quickly scrolled past and I didn't read a single article. I didn't want to be drawn into keeping tabs on a story like this. But the next morning I reminded myself that avoiding issues like this one doesn't help at all. It actually is more likely to do more damage than good. Yet as I began to read articles and skim through comments on Facebook I found myself faced with a dilemma. Share my stance on the subject and deal with the backlash or stay on the sidelines making no 'noise' and be labeled as the ignorant Christian. By reading the articles I was allowing myself to learn more about the situation, what lead to what is going on now, and how it is being handled in various circles.

I have seen a lot of acceptance of Jenner's lifestyle choices and people talking about him being a hero and how he is paving the way for the transgender community. I have also seen a lot of hatred being shared in regards to Jenner's choices and people talking about how disgusting it is and so on, most of which is coming from the Christian community.

Christians' responses to this issue make me sad. For people who claim to want to share God's love with everyone they come in contact with we sure seem to have a lot of exclusions. I don't get it though. God didn't command us to love only those who look like us or act like us. God also didn't tell us that we are free to judge those who aren't following His path. In fact it is quite the opposite and we can see that in Scripture...

'Love your neighbor as yourself.' -Matthew 22:39b
"There is only one Lawgiver and Judge, the one who is able to save and destroy. But you-who are you to judge your neighbor?" -James 4:12
Now these verses, although not the only ones I could have chosen, share a common word. Neighbor. This isn't referring only to your friends in the dorm room next to you, the people across the hall in your apartment complex, or the family in the townhouse next door. In biblical contexts the word neighbor, when used in these general contexts, refers to every man not just the person living near you.

As a Christian myself I believe that God is the Creator and Sustainer of creation, of the universe, and is therefore the One True Judge. One day we will all have to come before the Father and He will handle the matters of judgement. This judgement is not something that we are given license to dole out as we see fit here on earth. As Christians we have been told that we are not to judge because we will be judged in the same way that we judge others. So taking that into consideration....imagine that we were all judged by how we are currently judging Jenner and his choices. It wouldn't be very pretty for a lot of us. It would be pretty harsh. While we are on this earth we are called to love. Now this in no means is equal to total acceptance of what everyone else is doing and the choices they make. We don't have to agree with someone's life choices in order to love them like Christ loves us. We aren't told to accept and agree with what everyone does because that is contrary to the very way we are supposed to live as Christians. However that doesn't give us free range to judge and hate on those who do things that we don't agree with. God is the only judge, not us. We are called to love.

Like the verse states, "love your neighbor as yourself." A seemingly simple concept that we unfortunately mess up a lot. I have seen a lot of unloving comments and articles dealing with Jenner. Comments and articles that hurt to read. Now I do not agree with Jenner's lifestyle choices at all but I do believe that he deserves to be shown love regardless. Despite his life choices God did create him and God loves him. There is absolutely no doubt in my mind that it hurts God to see the way Jenner is choosing to live his life but I also have no doubt in my mind that God still wants us to show him love. We are called to love our neighbor as ourselves. Jenner is our neighbor. Where and how is love being shown to him? How are we showing him the love of Christ in our responses?

Jenner desperately needs to be shown the love of God and yet it saddens me to see how little seems to be being shown. This does not mean that we agree with his choices but that we show love for who him as a person, as a human being. Everyone deserves that...even Jenner.

Now you may not agree with me at all and that is totally okay! I didn't sit down and write this in an attempt to win you over to my point of view but rather to share my point of view on how we should be responding to the issue. If you disagree with me I would love to talk with you more and see where you are coming from! Go ahead and shoot me an email!

Before I go though I want to leave you with a couple thoughts...

1. PRAY. Pray for Jenner and his family. Pray for those who have written articles and done interviews. Pray for those posting and commenting on Facebook and other social media platforms. Pray for yourself as you think through this issue and figure out where you stand if you don't know already. Pray before you write a post, comment or talk with others about it. Pray that God shows you a healthy, positive way to respond and discuss this subject and everything connected with it.

2. SHOW LOVE. While you may or may not agree with Jenner's choices, remember that he still deserves to be shown love regardless. And remember that there are others who are dealing with similar situations who need to be shown this love as well. Whether you know someone dealing with the issue personally or have friends who have friends dealing with it, be conscious of how you are responding. They are people, human beings, God's creation....they deserve to be loved just like you and I.

I could go on but I will leave it at that. This is indeed a touchy subject right now and my intention is not to anger anyone. I just think that we as Christians need to be more aware of how we are responding in this situation (and others), myself included. Sometimes we find ourselves unintentionally following gut instinct but we have to be conscious about our actions. Our responses to this are shaping how people views Christians and Christianity in regards to this matter. What kind of an impression are we making? Are we positively breaking the stereotypes?


I'm Back!

01 June 2015

Hey y'all!! It's been quite a while since I have been in this space and the reasons for that are many. While I want to say sorry on one hand, on another I think putting this space on the back burner for a little while was necessary. I definitely need to do some update posts soon because a lot has happened in the last month!! Some of these posts will start to pop up this week along with some others that I am working on. I hope that now that my internship paperwork has all been turned in I will be able to spend some more time in this space.

I absolutely love writing in this space and I have some things I want to try in the near future. The summer is full of possibility and I look forward to what it holds. God also has done so much and is continuing to do more than I can imagine. I am excited to share some of this with you! I also find myself looking forward to sharing some college "prep" posts with some tips for what to bring with you freshman year and some college care package ideas. So many ideas are running through my head!! :)

For now I will leave you with a thank you for sticking out in my absence recently and a welcome to anyone new my little corner of the world wide web!! Praying for you all!


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