“But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come: For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having a form of godliness but denying its power. And from such people turn away!” -2 Timothy 3:1-5
This world makes me long for my heavenly home. I see in friends and “role models” a hatred in other people that is conflicting with my idea on how we should treat other people. Instead of disagreeing with people we disagree with, and debating with logic and empathy, we have come to call others names, make fun of them, or pronounce everlasting punishment on them for who they are. It is completely depressing for me to see this. I see isolationists who want to surround themselves with their own theology, ideology, and way of life. Some of that is not always wrong, but we fail to understand others when we close our gates and refuse to fellowship with others that are not like us. I don’t even watch the news anymore because it has the same culture. Facebook provides a wall of “protection” for those who love to do these things. I wish that we could meet face to face and have dinners together and bowl with those we disagree with. The failure in all of this is that we have esteemed ourselves a higher place in human history than our fellow human beings. We think we know it all, but we fail to get to know the people we disagree with so we really don’t know anything.
This is not how God wants us to be. I know many of my friends don’t believe in Jesus, and that is OK. Jesus tells me to follow Him and when I see Him walk, I see a Man who thrives on relationships with His creation. He was never a Man who backed down from a conflict or from people He disagreed with, but He was filled with compassion in doing so.
The parable of the Good Samaritan, that Jesus spoke about, pictures a world where we have compassion on those we disagree with. His teaching on this was a slap in the face of those back then and is a slap in the face for people today. We should be ashamed how we treat others with different views.
I see this world fading away in the area of love. The Bible tells us this will happen so it depresses me, but it encourages me at the same time because I know my Savior will be coming again soon. In the meantime, I choose to try to understand those I disagree with and love them unconditionally, because when I see myself and the unconditional love I receive from my God, I have no other choice. A Good Samaritan is what I want to emulate.
“Go and do likewise.” -Jesus
Image by Jan Wijnants, Dutch painter, draughtsman and ornamental painter