I’m a Christian. Most of my friends aren’t. Heck, most of the people in my life aren’t. I’m not a very bold conversationalist, as much as I wish I naturally was, meaning that I don’t really bring up deep, personal subjects with people out of the blue; I’m envious of those who can. Of course, that doesn’t mean that I shy away from these conversational opportunities when they arise — whether its chats about faith, politics, or whatever else may come up.
What’s the point of all of this, though? It’s very, very easy to get mired in the details of argument or, even worse, in trying to prove others incorrect, but when I approach conversations I do my best to emphasize the one core tenet of my faith that entirely defines my life…
My goodness, if I’ve lived my entire life and everyone I’ve met thinks I’m wise and knows that I consistently make winning arguments, but I haven’t left anyone feeling loved, then what a waste of time! My whole faith system is founded on the concept of love. Jesus broke the ten commandments down into two succinct concepts, the foundation for how to live our life: love God and love each other. That’s it. That’s my faith summed up, my entire worldview boiled down to its core.
I can be ornery, and I’m not always the most pleasant in conversation (though I mostly am [mostly…]), but I was very convicted today — entirely unrelated to any chat I’d been recently involved in or anything — of the title of this blog post. The point of my faith, and in turn my life, is love. Maybe I want to be a great lover to my future-wife, but love is more important. Heck, I even just want the chance to HAVE a wife, but love is more important. I enjoy playing video games and watching great movies, but love is more important. No matter how I feel, whether I’m up or down or worried about myself or my friends, or whether I’m deep in discussion of touchy subjects with Christians or non-Christians, I hope that I always allow for the most important expression of my words to be a message of love.
I’m not perfect, and I’ve never met a person who is. Still, though, God loves us. All of us, no matter how rotten and unlovable we think we are or how much pride fills our hearts. Grace is such a foreign and unnatural concept to us, yet it’s there… sitting in the middle of everything I believe. If the core of my entire faith system is love, forgiveness and graciousness in spite of seemingly rational reason, how darn important is it that I express that in all that I do?
So, to my fellow believers, please remember that we are called to be in the world, not of it, but we are certainly to be sent out into it with a purpose. The petty arguing over laws and slandering of those who don’t believe as we do, what does this gain us? I adore Christian apologetics, offering logical and rational reasoning for why the evidences I see in the world lead me to my beliefs, but it’s nothing without love… and if we’re raging on and causing strife over different beliefs out of pride/fear/arrogance, then when are we sharing the Gospel message? And if we’re not doing that, we are failing to fulfill the prime reason that we are here. Meeting someone special to spend my life with would be really, really fantastic, I’m not gonna lie, and the two are certainly not mutually exclusive, but if I had to decide between a selfishly content life and a lonelier, but more love-expressive one, there is no question as to which I would choose. Seeing the world around us, seeing what it values and deems important can be very hard to live with sometimes, but by golly let’s be the light in the world… not just more static and pain. We once were lost, but now we’re found, and isn’t that something you want everyone else to know, too?
And to those who read this who don’t share my faith, who find that they can’t or don’t want to believe what I do, I hope that anytime I present my divisive ideas here or we chat one-on-one about different viewpoints I do so with gracious kindness, letting you feel and clearly understand that our differing ideas are of much less importance to me than you as a person.
Because the point of my faith is love.