(First published September 10, 2010.)
If you are not a Christian, that’s easy. Do whatever you want.
Throw stuff at them. Tell them to shut up. Give them a cup filled with cool water and say, “I think that Jesus said you were supposed to give this to me.” The guy wanting to burn the Koran? Feel free to remind him that Jesus said to love your enemies, and then He proceeded to pray for the people who were killing him. Or change the station. The gal who tips with a tract instead of money? Run after her and say, “I think you forgot to read the part of this that talks about loving.”
If you are a Christian, this is easy too. Love them.
The person who is boycotting the funerals of veterans? Yes. The guy wanting to burn the Koran? Yep, him too. The person who likes a different kind of music for church services, the person who loves tattoos/hates tattoos, the person who wears long skirts or short skirts or suits or jeans or lots of makeup or no makeup? Love him or her or them.
But that’s impossible, isn’t it?
Absolutely. And not only is it impossible, it makes no sense. I mean, if I love someone, it will look like I’m condoning what they are doing. And the last thing that I want to do is condone what “that person” is doing.
But here’s the deal. Jesus says “My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you.” If I want to obey what he commands, and I do, I have to love the people who say that they are following Jesus.
Of course, his love for me doesn’t mean he condones everything I do. He looks for the hole in my heart and offers healing.
UPDATE: For more on what to do, see “So I have to love him?” – Part one.