Related Posts with Thumbnails

Monday, October 17, 2011

Above All Else...

I don't spend a lot of time talking about my religious or political views.  Not that I don't have plenty of views and opinions about such things but I do not enjoy confrontation.  Stirring the pot is just not in my nature and most of the time I just won't go there.  

Of course I talk about and am very open about my faith in Christ.  But Jesus didn't teach or preach on religion.  He taught us, above all else, to love one another.  He did not say to love only those who look like we do, dress like we do, wear their hair like we do, act like we do, live like we do, and believe everything that we believe.  No.  He taught us to love one another.  

Believe me, I understand this is not always easy to do. I have encountered many individuals in my life that I have a hard time even liking, much less loving. We all have and do on a pretty regular basis.  And he knew this would happen...knew it wouldn't be easy just as he knew how much we would all screw it up.  Big time.  

But this didn't make him love us any less then or any less now.  

We are sinners.  All of us.  Each and every one of us. And that is why he came....why he allowed himself to be tortured and nailed to a cross to suffer and die.  He did it for us.  For me. For you.  For ALL of us.  To save us from ourselves.  To give us another shot at eternal life.  And another.  And another.  And yet another.

Because he knew we were all imperfect and that we'd make mistakes and screw things up.  A lot.  All that he asked of us though was to put him first, ask forgiveness when we mess up and to love one another.  Keep on striving to love one another as he first loved us.

Since 1997 I have been an official member of the United Methodist Church.  The Methodists do things a little differently than the Baptists and the Baptists do things a little differently than the Presbyterians and the Presbyterians do things quite a bit differently than the Catholics and so on and so on and so on...

There's a line from Steel Magnolias by Dolly Parton's character, Truvy, that I just love and believe to be oh so true...

"Oh honey, God don't care which church you go to, long as you show up!"

I'm a member of the United Methodist Church because I married into it. Plain and simple.  I attended a Baptist Church as a kid but had not attended church on a regular basis for years until I met Darin and started going with him to the church I still belong to, the one he was born into. But I always believed in Jesus, even when I didn't put him first and he never loved me any less when I wasn't going to church on Sunday.  

In 2001 the United Methodist Church adopted a slogan that made me proud to be a member..

"Open Hearts. Open Minds. Open Doors."  

What that says to me is that we will embrace one another with open arms, no matter where we've been, what we've done, or what type of lifestyle we live.  We may not agree on everything and we may not always see eye to eye but at the end of the day, we are still going to accept one another with open arms...without judgement or condemnation.  

Because we were not given that right or that commandment.  Jesus didn't come to teach us how to judge.  

He came to teach us how to love...

Pin It


  1. I love the line in jjheller's song love me that says, "not for what i have done or what i may become, who'll love me for me." we all need to strive to love one another that way. hardest when someone has hurt us but not impossible through Him.

  2. This is beautifully written, Diane. Truly.

  3. Thanks for the reminder. Some days, I'm not feeling the neighborly love. I struggle with that, and need frequent reminders.

  4. Yes, yes, and yes my friend. I am so glad that Jesus loves us so much to never give up on us.

  5. I feel the same way. It's not my place to decide whether someone else's path is right or wrong!

  6. So true about Him teaching us to love, rather than to judge. I find myself guilty of the latter far more than the former.

    Thanks for sharing this... I'm a believer too!