For the past couple of days I have felt a heaviness in my heart. There was a discussion that was posted online that brought pain to me. It's a hot topic these days...and the tendency for people to make sweeping generalizations and assumptions is rampant. Stereotypes come in all shapes and sizes.
I had to make a stand. What was being said was unfair. I could not be silent.
I fear that my stand may cause the friendship to sour. I also fear that my stand may make me a target. The world is slowly accepting a lifestyle that is unhealthy and wrong. Those who disagree are ridiculed and lumped into one basket as "religious bigots and whackos".
Where is there room to love and still stand for the Truth?
Tonight when I was listening to my ipod, this Newsboys song came on...the one you should be hearing is called "Who?" I love the lyrics. They are original and humorous...and so honest. "I'm not following a God I can lead around. I can't tame this Deity..."
It seems that cyberspace is not the only arena where taking a stand has a price tag. Sometimes people choose pleasing their family over standing firm with what they know to be true. Sometimes keeping friends is most important and that makes them turn away from Truth. We live in a society of political correctness...and it's okay to believe anything...anything but what is real and true and wholesome. If you believe and seek to follow Christ, then you are often mercilessly labeled and mocked.
And yet, the world still searches for love. How ironic that the very Source of Love is cast aside because they want love but they want it their way. No cost. No pain. No sacrifice. Instant gratification.
Friends are my treasure. I love them quickly and with all my heart. Loyal to a fault, it's been said. However, there is One I cannot, and will not, deny. Sometimes by standing up for Him, there is a grave risk of alienating others.
I know my Lord. He is the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. I know His words are true and provide a wellspring of life that cannot be surpassed by anything this world has to offer.
The world does not know Him. They do not have eyes to see. Oh, if they could only see how much He has already given to bring them an everlasting hope. There is a Love without end...and it's there for all who reach out and accept it.
There are many things in the scriptures that are unclear. On those issues, there is room for compromise and negotiation, whichever is appropriate for peaceful unity.
However, there are also many things written that are quite clear. On those there must be no compromise. A choice must be made. Who has our deepest love? Who will we believe?
It is a difficult road...following behind the Master. His path is narrow...and it's not pain-free. But He has promised to walk with us...promised to bring good out of the bad for those that love Him. I have seen His promises fulfilled time and time again.
I know His words are true.
Someone may assume that just because I do not support a person's life choices (regardless of what those choices are) that it means I don't love them. On the contrary...it is because of love that I cannot condone a lifestyle that will only bring heartache and pain. What kind of friend would I be if I did not speak up when I know the path they are on will lead them to eternal death?
"The nature of love is to do what is right, not what is easy."
The trick is to figure out how to love those who choose wickedness over holiness. How to love them in practical ways...so that they do not feel judged or condemned by our attitudes. Our Savior suffered a humiliating and excruciating death for them because He loved them. He loves them just deeply as He loves us. If we are to follow Him, we must learn to love...learn how to show compassion and mercy and yet keep our feet firmly planted in the Truth.
When I am faced with a situation where I have to choose, I pray with all my heart that I'll always have the strength and loyalty to choose Christ. He is the One who gave all to provide an eternal life I could never have expected on my own.
It is He who deserves my full allegiance, no matter who opposes such a bond.
This position I am in right now feels so lonely....but I know I am not alone. There are others who love the Lord with all their hearts and souls. Many have sacrificed far more than will ever be asked of me. But even if I were alone...I pray I would still stand.
In Him alone there is grace and truth and mercy beyond compare...and a love that can never be taken away from me.
He is my Father and I love Him.
May the words of my mouth and the actions of my body always reflect that love. I have failed on many occasions, and will probably fail again...but I know He is not finished with me yet. I will be made new. In that hope...I continue to place one foot in front of the other and face each new day.