If someone from the outside looked around our nation, especially in the aftermath of our recent election, I have to wonder what conclusions they might jump to about what makes someone a Christian. How would they be able to recognize those among us who follow Christ?
Would it be by how we voted?
By our stance on abortion?
By our views on same-sex marriage?
By our precisely pinned-down theology?
By how perfectly we’ve got our lives pulled together?
No, it’s none of those things, according to Jesus. He said they’d know we’re Christians by our love.
I am giving you a new commandment: Love each other. Just as I have loved you, you should love each other. Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples.
That’s not to say those issues aren’t important, or that we should gloss over truth. But those shouldn’t be the identifying factors about us. They shouldn’t be the first things that come to mind when people think about followers of Christ.
What if we were known for loving liberals and conservatives and Democrats and Republicans and Libertarians and Communists and nonvoters and everyone in between?
What if we were known for loving abortion providers…and young girls who find themselves unexpectedly pregnant?
What if we were known for loving same-sex couples?
What if we were known for loving people who don’t believe the same way we do…and people who don’t believe at all?
What if we were known for loving people whose lives are a mess…with the acknowledgment that our lives are a mess too?
What if we were known for our love?
And more to the point, what if I were known for my love?
I’ve taken the challenge of reading the Bible chronologically this year and tracing the thread of grace through it. These musings are prompted by my reading. I’d love to have you join me: One Year Bible reading plan.