By Justin Kinsley, Student Ministry Pastor
Well…2017 has been very interesting to say the least. We can now expect to see a protest on the news once every other week, instead of our once a year protest at Starbucks when they take the PSL (Pumpkin Spice Latte) off of the menu. What’s behind these protests? Is it truly about politics in America? Or is there something else that looms within each argument? I think it is easy for us today to mask a deeper need found in each one of us under the guise of politics. So let’s put aside our political convictions for just a second and explore what the need is.
Whether it is gender rights, immigrant rights, women’s reproductive rights, or anything else, from my perspective, the deeper need each of these protesters has is their need to feel loved. Now loving someone does not necessarily mean you accept their beliefs and allow them a free pass from the truths found in God’s Word, but it does require that we treat others like Christ treated them. When we look at the life of Christ we see love lived out to its fullest expression possible. Whether it’s Jesus showing mercy on the woman who was just caught in adultery (John 8:1-11) or redirecting the false assumptions of a Pharisee, Jesus’s goal was never to be an iron fist, but always to show divine love.
The world needs love and in fact yearns for it. However, because God is love and the world does not have God in their lives, the world is then missing love altogether. From the start of creation we were created to be in relationship with God, basking in his presence each and every day. Sin, however, came in and broke not only our relationship with our true love (God) but also distorted our definition of love itself. Love today is acceptance and agreement. The basis of this definition of love has nothing to do with God but has to do with the validation of our own sinful heart. Since our world refuses to acknowledge the love of God, they will seek it in other sources, and today we see this effort through political means.
The need for love is apparent, and it is our job as those who have found our true love in Christ, to show this same love to the world. Francis Schaeffer once said, “All men are our neighbors, and we are to love them as ourselves. We are to do this on the basis of creation, even if they are not redeemed, for all men have value because they are made in the image of God. Therefore they are to be loved, even at great cost.” So then, we must love others and treat them as Christ would have. Sometimes this might require redirecting their beliefs but sometimes it might be just giving a listening ear. We should show love, not so that we can change their hearts but so that God can.
Heat makes all things expand. And the warmth of love will always expand a person’s heart