Wednesday, October 06, 2010

Love, not Glee

I have gotta say that although I have enjoyed nearly every episode of Glee... this week's episode was not a favorite. I believe they painted Christians in a bad light. Can anyone say stereotype?

Sadly, Glee has been one of my very favorite shows, and up until now I have gladly recommended it to friends.

Last night's episode did make me pause and consider a few things, however.

It breaks my heart that people would turn their back on God because of the attitude of people who claim to be His followers, but fail to follow one of His  greatest commandments. To Love one another.

For the record, I believe that what someone is or does in no way makes them less worthy of Love... ours or God's. Yes, there are things that God plainly lists as sin. However, who are we to cast blame and ostracize someone, when none of us is without sin? We might not agree with choices people make, but in the end, we are commanded to love them in spite of it. 

"Hate the sin, not the sinner." I'm not sure where I first heard that, but I remind myself of it often. Especially when someone is unkind or deceitful. Or when someone hurts a person I love. It's one of the most difficult things we have to do as Christians. I know I cannot do it alone, so I have to ask for God's strength in it. Being able to separate the person from the action is sometimes next to impossible, but I have found that it is very difficult to hate someone I am praying for. Eventually, God warms my heart toward them, and my prayers change focus. Sometimes, I might even see a small change in them that gives a glimmer of hope that God is working in them. But mostly, God works on me. He changes my attitude in the midst of the situation.

And in case you are wondering... no, I do not condone behaviors that are contrary to God's Word. But here's where I believe things should be different... Yes! It is OK be angry, and yes it should make our hearts sorrowful when someone disregards God's commandments. But we should be not take that anger out on people. We should not criticize and berate someone because of their choices. As Christians, we should instead focus on having a right heart attitude, and not stand in judgement of others. Rather, we should pray for God to soften their hearts toward Him. If more of us were transparent enough to admit that we do not have our own lives in perfect order, perhaps when we expressed our beliefs, it wouldn't seem like such an affront to others. 

When I say I am a Christian, I am not claiming to have it all together. I am admitting that I cannot on my own behalf live a perfect life. I am saying that all that I am and all that I hope to be is because of Jesus Christ. And after all.... He didn't come here to die for those who thought they knew all the answers and who thought they were without flaws. He came to save those who are full of mistakes and baggage.  He chose to spend His time here on earth with the outcasts, with the sinners, and with those the religious zealots scorned. He chose to befriend regular people with problems much like my own. 

So for those who choose to express hatred toward someone in the name of God: The next time you are tempted to shout from a street corner that all those within earshot are sinners bound for Hell, stop and think about what Jesus did. He went to the homes of those who were hated, ate dinner with them, spent time talking to them, and most of all, showed them kindness and love. The Bible tells us that no sin is strong enough to separate us from God's love. It is that love, in the end, that makes all the difference. It was that love that caused Him to choose to pay for the sins that we commit each and every day. It is that love that provides hope for those who choose to believe in the power of forgiveness.