It’s very easy diagnosis. It takes about half a brain to look around and see a world full of people deluding ourselves from our own selves with food, drugs, money, sex, politics, religion, sports, social media, entertainment, power, hobbies, information, anger and lots of opinions.
Look at the results of our distractions, the number one killer in this country is food and we keep eating crap. We are lonelier than ever and we keep living hidden, fragmented, online and out of our false-selves. We have the highest levels of debt and we keep spending. We are addicts and we cannot quit consuming and trying to fill ourselves up with anything that will make us “feel” something.
Why do we fall victim to “identity politics?” Because, we don’t know who we are? Why do we love so poorly? Because, that’s how we love ourselves. Why do we get so angry when someone looks different, acts different and believes different from us? Because, it exposes us and our deep fears, guilt and shame. Why can’t we create space to listen to others? Because, we have not made that space to listen to ourselves.
I am like you. I am like every other human being. I am vulnerable, sensitive, fragile, weak, needy, insecure, transparent, desperate and dependent on love. I am a perfectly designed to receive and give of love. You are perfectly designed to receive and give love too. Yet, when I forget who I am and when you forget who you are, then we will run to cover ourselves with temporary things (fig leaves) to quiet the fears that we are unloved and alone.
Hate and anger are without a doubt some of our biggest and most righteous fig leaves. Hate and anger do not live inside of us. They are reactions to what is going on inside of us. It’s so much easier to direct our hate and anger at our neighbor than deal with our own hypocrisy, jealousy, fear, pain, guilt and shame. I had much rather scream at the driver who accidentally got in my way, then ask myself “Why am I so entitled to the road and why is driving unleashing so much emotion?”
Have you ever asked yourself “Why am I so angry?”
Why are we so angry? Why does someone kneeling make us murder them in our hearts? Why is there so much rage against our neighbor who is quietly standing up or kneeling down for injustice, abuse, corruption and racism? Would it have bothered us as much or would we have even noticed if every single person in the projects took a knee? I doubt it.
The truth is that people and circumstances expose us. My question is, “What is coming out?” What is coming our of our hearts? Perhaps, we never knew that we are racist. Perhaps, we don’t know who we are? Perhaps, we have lots of unanswered fears. Perhaps, we do not know our neighbors and have not cared to listen to their fears, pain and truth.
Is patriotism more important than love? Is religion more important than love? Have we forgotten how to love ourselves because we are so busy consuming to fill our own emptiness that we can’t remember what it actually feels like to feel human and to be vulnerable, weak, needy and desperate?
We are not designed to connect through loyalty, opinions, patriotism, power, money or pain. We are designed to connect through love and there’s no way that we can connect the way we are designed, if we don’t know who we are and we don’t know or have forgotten how very much God loves us and our neighbor…all our neighbors.
If you call yourself a Christian, then this is your time to show the world how Jesus didn’t just take a knee, instead he gave everything he had so that we would all be equal and be loved. Jesus did not demand that we show God respect nor did he punish us for not changing our most disrespectful lives. Rather, he died for us and he gave us new hearts to recieve God’s love and then he sent the Holy Spirit to transform and help us.
We can help wash away the tears of injustice, the fears of racism, the pain of a nation, the guilt of sin and the shame that affects us all today. We can love our neighbor and we can open our freaking Bibles and read them and remember what love looks like, sounds like and feels like… 4 Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant 5 or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful;[a]6 it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. 7 Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. 8 Love never ends. As for prophecies, they will pass away; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will pass away. 9 For we know in part and we prophesy in part, 10 but when the perfect comes, the partial will pass away. 11 When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I gave up childish ways. 12 For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known. 13 So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love.