I want to hold myself and my church accountable regarding my/our love of people. Lent Week 4, Day 24
This past Sunday, it was revealed from the pulpit that I am a liberal.
No one seemed surprised by this.
But the whole story is a great lesson in holding one another accountable in regards to love. There was a sermon several weeks ago that called all of us to remember that the people we worship with are more important than the political parties we affiliate with. Our preacher, Jonathan, went so far as to say that there are people in the sanctuary we need to apologize to; because we have despised our sisters and brothers based on matters that are less important than following the will of Jesus.
After hearing this sermon, I kept pondering what it meant practically. How would I go about working on these relationships? How would I learn to take my focus off of temporal things and put it back on eternal things?
And then I was caught by surprise. My friend, Loren, came up to me and apologized. I had no idea he had anything to apologize for. But he told me he had allowed my social media posts to upset him. He was allowing my opinions and ideas to be a barrier in our relationship. And I had no idea.
So he apologized to me. And then he affirmed me. He thanked me for the lessons I was teaching him. In spite of me holding opinions that frustrated him, he decided to look past those to see the better parts of me.
I was grateful. But I was also convicted. Am I willing to do the same thing? Am I willing to admit that I am allowing other people’s opinions to form a barrier in our relationship? Am I willing to apologize? Am I willing to see through the words to find the better parts of the person?
This is hard for me. Because I want so badly to be superior to those who have different opinions. But is that truly to best thing to do?
Receiving an apology (especially one you do not know you are owed) is a humbling experience. Offering an apology is a vulnerable experience.
Maybe if we focused more on humility and vulnerability, our overall ability to love and serve will grow.