Ok now for my "Reflections on TRUUUE LOOOVE. sigh.". Well, seriously it's not a relationship thing or a mushy gushy load of crap. It's actually about love.
First, I feel the need to explain my "religion." After this, I will try to not call it that though. So, I am a Christian. (And the guy in back row goes "oh that's just frikin great".) Well, it is. But I do not like to call myself a Christian. The word has completely lost it's meaning. My best friend, B., called Christianity "The World's Biggest Book Group" and he is soooo right, at least as far as "civilized society" is concerned. If you are unfamiliar with the dynamics of REAL Christianity, the Biblical, unspoiled, un-'civilized', one and only true version of it, I encourage you to read the four gospels of the Bible: Matthew, Mark, Luke and John as well as the book of Acts. It's not exactly light reading but it's worth it. And if you are completely anti-Bible reader, try Voice of the Martyrs, an extremely short magazine. If you still are very averse to reading of any kind, do some research or actually visit places in the world where my "religion" is illegal. You have 58 countries to choose from. I am not a Christian. I am a Follower of Jesus.
I am most certainly not a perfect Follower.
Here is exhibit A:
As a Follower of Jesus, I should Love everyone through the power, grace and Love of God himself. Very often, I find that I am not very good at it, nor do I always want to improve my skills in this area. I'm not being a horrible person, I'm being an honest person. Anyone, religious or not, will tell you that they have problems loving everyone.
I don't mean everyone as in a vague, distant population of a variety of people who live out in the world...somewhere, doing...something. What I mean are those people who you have "reason" to not like. At all. Here are my first few example of people I find it hard to Love (*I ask that no one take offense to this list if you are on it; you have people on your list, I may even be one of them and if we ever actually met, both of us would probably like each other quite a bit):
- Rich Kids with Stories
- I don't like it when people get every single thing they want and still think they have a reason to complain. Yes, deep down I know that EVERYONE is facing some kind of battle, but I despise the idea that a person can have everything and then I am forced to give them something I can with-hold from them out of spite, like sympathy or love.
- Rich Kids, PERIOD
- I have a cousin, who is stinking loaded and does not have a story. She is tall, thin, gorgeous, smart, likable and RICH. She has every single material thing she has ever wanted and her waiting period for said things has never been longer than the shipping time. Why people like this are allowed to exist, especially to be related to me, I don't understand. And it just makes me madder that to be such close relatives, not only do I look nothing like her, not only did my side of the family manage to not be in the same fancy-schmancy boat as hers, but her family is cheap and uppity and got my mom, FOR HER BIRTHDAY, a set of dish towels from FRED'S for $4.99.
- Asian Women
- This one sounds weird....I suppose because it is. But I have only ever liked one Asian woman that I didn't know and in all honesty I certainly do not go out of my way to make friends with women of oriental descent. Why? Because my boyfriend loves them. I don't understand why these dumb guys are all so taken with dis-proportionate anime cartoons but if you want to make your girlfriend's self-esteem drop lower than it already was, make it clear to her that if you could screw an Asian lady, you would without a second thought. See how she reacts when the two of you walk past the ideal Japanese girl in the supermarket.
- Evangelicals Who Don't Like Evangelicals
- You are, let's say for the example, a Muslim who is doing what you believe to be a good thing by bringing people to your religion. You truly believe that you are saving people. The...I don't know, the Jehovah's Witness next door to you truly believes that by going around and knocking on doors, she is saving people. She is angry with you for "pulling people into the darkness," she says. She wants the freedom to evangelize but doesn't want you to do it at all. Now there are a few levels to this but here's a basic rundown that makes us all a little less likely to despise people like this.
- This woman is genuinely concerned about people and truly believes she is doing what is best for them. You can't hate people who attempt to help others, even if their attempts are mis-guided.
- She considers you to be a threat. If people have a choice (believe in your god or hers), statistically, she will lose some people because you are sharing your beliefs too. She doesn't want YOUR misguided attempts to defeat HER misguided attempts. *Please don't take offense to the dramatization if you are a Muslin or a Jehovah's Witness.
- Now, I don't like people who are mean to me because of my religion but want to spread theirs to the ends of the earth. Its not right. I am a Follower of Christ and as such I am called by Him to tell people about Him. And I will, whether you like it or not. But I will never tell you that even though I think you're wrong, you're not allowed to tell people about your beliefs too. Not ok. What you think and believe in is important and I wouldn't be a jerk like that. But anytime you want to have a rational, constructive, thought-provoking discussion (NOT AN AIR-HEADED STUBBORN ARGUMENT) I would absolutely LOVE LOVE LOVE to talk with you about our differing beliefs and yes, be fore-warned, I will try to convince you of mine just as hard as you will [perhaps secretly] be trying to convince me of yours. I like questions that challenge my faith because they give me reason to think and validate the reasons I have to believe the way I do, just as, hopefully, you appreciate challenging questions. But also be warned, I will not be ashamed if I don't know all the answers. I'm still learning and even if I learned all I could, I couldn't ever know everything about God. And you can't either so I don't expect you to have all the answers, and if you "do" then I will seriously question your integrity as well as your belief system. I think about your questions after our discussion is over, just as I would hope you would as well.
Now, I'm not telling you all this just to show you what a lousy Follower I am or to make myself look like a jerk. I just want to be real and you should be real too. PERSONALLY, I don't have a problem with any of the people on this list (except my cousin's family...two houses, four cars and you get your mother a pack of cheap dish towels), but overall, I have a problem accepting these people. It's just something I'm working on, something that I think we should all think about in a very honest, real way and work on. So I hope nobody reads this and gets mad at me and tries to get revenge or anything, but I do hope you take it to heart and think about your list.