It’s hard for us to show grace and love to people who disturb our sense of reality. I am thinking, particularly, about having a friend who was supposedly a straight Christian tell me later, after our friendship had dwindled because of distance and time apart, that she was, instead, a gay non-Christian. It threw me for a loop, for sure. It didn’t fit my paradigm of who she was. It turned what I thought was reality on its head.
And I had a decision to make.
I could be like most Christians this girl knew and distance myself from her. I could let the fact that I was uncomfortable with her choices dictate how I would treat her – like a villain or a stranger or a fraud.
Or I could love her as Christ loved me – without conditions.
But how does a human do that? We are notorious for being controlled by our feelings, and I was feeling uncomfortable. To be honest, I was even feeling hurt. I know she hadn’t purposely betrayed me, but I felt like she was dishonest with me back when our friendship was thriving. I realize that is probably not the case. Most likely, she wasn’t scheming to trick me into believing she liked Jesus and boys in high school. But that doesn’t change the fact that I felt lied to.
And, yet, God wanted me to love her and to love her well. Actually, He wanted me to love her even better than I myself was capable of doing.
Enter the Holy Spirit.
When the Spirit reminds me that the Lord adores me – and that is an understatement – the more I want to love people well, no matter what they think or do or believe. God doesn’t adore me because I accept Christ’s grace and because I only make choices that line up with Scripture (Hint: I don’t). He adores me because I am His. He made me. I am His. And He loves me because of that fact alone.
And He loves my friend for that reason, too. Just because her perception of truth has changed (and it will continue to change, just as mine will), that doesn’t mean she is any less wonderful in God’s eyes.
And she shouldn’t be viewed as any less wonderful in my eyes either.