Thursday, July 7, 2016

What Kind of World

In recent months, we've been fed a lot of fears. Here is a short list of things we have been told to fear: bathrooms, gorillas, nightclubs, Muslims, transgender people, guns, alligators, foreigners, police officers, radicals, conservatives, liberals, Mother Nature, and everyone running for president.

Over the past few months, so many friends have made social media posts that make mention of the "kind of world" they are living in or their children are growing up in. I understand the fears because so much we see is scary. There are so many people or things that would or could hurt us. I also know that we are not meant to live our lives in fear.

I know I am a white woman. I know I am a straight woman. I don't go to nightclubs or Disney, either. So in many ways, I'm on the outside. I don't know what it is like to be judged by my skin color or my spouse. I have a master's degree and while I'm not rich, I've never experienced true poverty. I can sympathize but never empathize on many accounts of struggles.

What I can offer is love. It may sound silly and like that's not enough. "Oh, love, like that's gonna save us!" Maybe it won't keep me from harm or you from harm. But, we are called to love our neighbors. It's the biggest Bible takeaway after "love the Lord your God." (Matthew 22:37)

I've been doing a Bible study on 1 John and there is a verse I read recently that sums it up. There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love. 1 John 4:18

No fear in love. If we focus on God's love towards us, what have we to fear? I don't want to die but if I did, I know I will be with Jesus and free from the worries of this world. And if we show love to others, we show them God and give them the power over fear.

I know this seems very simplified and doesn't sound like it will solve anything. But honestly, is your Facebook post of fear solving anything? Do you think rules, government, signage, language, or elections will solve it? We can't wait on some major shift to happen without making minor changes ourselves. How about starting with love?

Instead of asking "What kind of world are we living in?" we could exclaim "What kind world we are living in!"

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