Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Thanks For The Label But, No Thanks

I think Linus had reached the end of his his blanket with the non-sense dished out by others. I am sympathetic.

Cathy and I have raised three children. Though they are not quite perfect, I am more proud of them than I ever was of myself at their ages, and I would still give my life for any or all of them even if I totally disapproved of what they say or do. That includes my wonderful daughter-in-law. (I hope, someday, to have a son-in-law and another daughter-in-law added to that group.) By the way, whenever we disapprove of each other's actions, we never are afraid of each other. The love is always stronger than the faults. (Secret: We know God is real and that the Holy Spirit works to convict us of sin and convince us to change. We believe if people resist God's leading/urging but not our's, then something is probably wrong with us.)

My deep appreciation to all of you who do not question the love we have for our children nor criticize the values we maintain. It is probably safe to say that you know we have the same regard for all people.

Given that reality, it grieves me when any friends or acquaintances act on the apparent assumption that we are ignorant, fearful, and hateful because we do not agree with them or their stance on an issue. I think it says less about us than it does about them.

Without getting into a litany of individual sins, I believe sin is wrong and always separates us from God who can not look upon sin. That everyone sins does not negate the fact that we should not sin. The action that pleases God, when we sin, is confession and repentance. This is in stark contrast to tolerance. Tolerance is not agape love. Tolerance is loathing because it carries no hope for holiness.

Jesus said much about agape love. Two of those things were, "If you love me, keep my commandments," and the affirmation of "Love your neighbor as yourself." By placing God first—which does precede "love your neighbor as yourself"—I can properly love others.