OK, I realize this post may be a bit of a leap from where I usually live, but it's something that is laying heavily on my heart right now...and where better to get it out than here on my little plot of Internet.
Here are somethings you may or may not know about me (please, if you are offended by any of this, keep reading and know that is not my intent). I am a staunch pro-life supporter. I believe life is sacred but I am not opposed to the death penalty in extreme cases (you may think this is a contradiction, but I disagree). I believe marriage is a sacred covenant between one man, one woman, and God. I believe lying is wrong...even the little white lies we tell. I tend towards the more charismatic side of Christianity than the conservative side my congregation leans to. I believe that sin is sin and there is no excuse for it. I believe that evil is real and man is fallen. That is who I am.
All that being said, if you are homosexual, I can still love you. If you are an abortionist, I can still love you. If you are a liar, cheat, thief or murderer, I can still love you. No matter who you are or what you have done in your life, you are still created in the image of God. You still have worth and still deserve kindness, respect, and love. And I'm not talking about the kind of "love" that says, "I'll love you in theory but stay away from me." I'm talking about true, unconditional love.
I'm not a good person. I'm horribly flawed. I do not live the way I should. I am angry. I gossip. I hate. I'm prone to laziness. I'm selfish and undeserving of grace. But my God is bigger than all my faults. He loves me regardless of how stained I am. How can I possibly withhold my love from someone because I deem them "unworthy."
God's love does not hinge on what we do or to not do. It is because we are His creations. He love us. He calls us to love each other. That does not mean we are to turn a blind eye to sin and pretend it is something good. It means that we are to love each other through sin. We do what we can to support and help each other. We do what we can to uplift and council each other, but in the end we love. Unconditionally.
It's a horribly hard thing to do. It's not something I'm good at. There are people I do not want to love. I struggle with that. Why should I love someone who has molested a child? That person deserves hell. Why should I love someone who has beat his wife through out their marriage? He deserves hell. Why should I love the perverse and corrupt? They deserve hell. Why should I love people who have wronged me or those I love? If not deserving of hell, at lease they are undeserving of my love, right? But in the end, I am no different from any of them. No matter how good I may strive to be, I'm still living in my sin and God sees no difference between us. That's a hard thing to come to terms with. I'm not there, not by a long shot.
But please do not tell me that because I stand by my morals that I am close minded. My heart is still open to love those that disagree and that means my mind must be as well. Just because I disagree with you or your actions, that does not mean I do not love you as a child of God. Christ died for my sins. Because of His sacrifice I can be clean. That is the only reason. And because of His sacrifice anyone can be clean. Even those we deem the most horrifically dirty. There is no line to be crossed into a place where Christ's blood is not enough to clean you. Because of His blood, we are all capable of being saved. And because of salvation we are all called to love.