If you can’t show love, check yourself

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Last week was a heck of a news week. Not in terms of local events, but rather issues the general public passionately cares about. In a nutshell, Gov. Bentley took down the Confederate flags at the Capitol, and the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the right to same-sex marriage. As I watched and listened to people’s stances on the subjects, it wasn’t the differing opinions that made me pause—it was the lack of love exhibited for those who differ in opinion that bothered me.

People making hateful comments were the very ones with Bible verses littering their social media accounts, and the people who have been asking for acceptance were spewing hate toward those against them. Many argue whether the Bible is clear on today’s hotly-debated issues, especially same-sex relationships. But there’s one thing the Bible is crystal clear on—loving others. 1 Peter 4:8, “Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers a multitude of sins.” Proverbs 10:12, “Hatred stirs up dissention, but love covers all wrongs.”

It’s important we not forget that we all have sin in our lives. How do you treat your friend who lives with his girlfriend? How do you treat your best friend who is divorced? Do you refuse to attend church because a woman is ministering? Do you stop loving your teenager because she lied to you? This list could go on and on. These are sins mentioned in the Bible, but society’s views on each of them have changed over the years.

No matter your stance, it’s your duty to show love—not hatred—to others even if you don’t share the same life views. This doesn’t mean you’re condoning their choices. It means you’re accepting of them as people. It’s important to see the person. It’s even more vital to listen to one another. I don’t know a single homosexual person who hasn’t been hurt by their families, friends or the church.

One of my best friends from college grew up in a devout Christian home, but knew from a young age he liked boys. He struggled through high school because it was considered taboo in his small town. Questions arose, and he sought answers only to be scolded and told something was wrong with him. In college, he found others with similar feelings, and he thrived. However, his family and church turned their backs on him. How a mother can turn her back on a child, I’ll never understand. How the church can make others feel despised and rejected rather than showing people love… you can’t make me understand that either. Bottom line: no matter your beliefs on any issue, if you’re not showing love, and you’re spewing hate, you’re the one with the problem. Check yourself.