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Posts Tagged ‘Luke 6:31’

“If I speak with human eloquence and angelic ecstasy
but don’t love, I’m nothing but the creaking of a rusty gate.

If I speak God’s Word with power,
revealing all his mysteries and making everything plain as day,
and if I have faith that says to a mountain, “Jump,” and it jumps,

but I don’t love, I’m nothing.

If I give everything I own to the poor and even go to the stake to be burned as a martyr,
but I don’t love, I’ve gotten nowhere.

So, no matter what I say,
what I believe,
and what I do,
I’m bankrupt without love.”

1 Corinthians 13:1-4

In 1 John 4:7  we are told, “Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God.” Then, later in 1 Corinthians 13 we are told it is “is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things (v. 4-7).

It would appear that if we are to love like God loves, we need to do so with the mind and actions of Christ in all that we do … otherwise, Christ, and all that He brings to the table is omitted.

Everywhere we go today we are faced with two words. They are ‘trendy’ words. They are ‘in’ words. But they are not always accompanied by the love of Christ. They are … social justice.

Social justice is an attempt within a society to address issues such as world poverty, clean water, sickness, human trafficking, homelessness, the environment, and oppression around the world. It is a valid, and valiant desire to fulfill the Golden Rule (“do for others what you would want done for you” aka Luke 6:31).

Our North American society is gaga over social justice. The phrase “first world problems” (complaints made by only those of us who live in the privileged 10-15% of the world) has replaced the phrase “out of the box thinking” of just a few years ago. The Occupy movement that littered many cities with everything from human refuse to biodegradable coffee cups, preached an end to the injustice of economic inequality.

Politicians pull out Social Justice issues to win over voters and elections. Teachers integrate into our curriculum teaching of the need to give and to do for those who are not as fortunate as those of us in the ‘first world’. Preachers preach of our need to love our neighbor … in another country, another continent.

“… but if we don’t have love …”

Back in December, I wrote in my post, A God Thing, about the apathy of my homeroom class in choosing one of the prescribed causes to support. The overwhelming response was, “I can easily donate _____ to one of the causes, but it really does not have any real meaning for me.”

I wonder if what these teenage students were really saying, “I can give, but I don’t have love … heck, I do not even know who I am giving to.”

I believe strongly in social justice, I donate to causes and organizations that are the hands and feet of my moula (as well as of Christ), but I have to admit that, like those teens in my homeroom, I have become so satiated with the message of social justice that it is losing any real meaning for me.

Social justice has become so trendy, so … loveless.

What if, rather than try to save those living on the streets of Tijuana, we help our neighbor who is struggling under financial burdens that might make that family homeless?

What if, rather than try to get kids out of prostitution in Thailand, we work towards building up the young girls in our neighborhoods, our schools, our churches, so that they are not tempted into

What if, rather than helping the sick, the lame, the disabled in a third world country, we got to know the senior citizen who lives alone, or the single mom whose son is Autistic, or the gentleman in the wheelchair who you see whenever you go to the swimming pool?

What if …fec41385b476074eb5cbf7fe81e454fd

we showed love …

to those most near to us?

Could there be a more ‘just’ action to do as a society?

Then maybe helping those under oppression, without basic needs, and without hope around the world would have more meaning to us?

if-we-cannot-love-the-person-whom-we-see

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Today, February 29, 2012 (where I live), is Pink Shirt Day (pinkshirtday). It is a day when we are encouraged to wear a pink shirt, in support of the movement to stop bullying. I LOVE this day! I LOVE the outward expression to say, I will not tolerate bullying. Somehow, in putting on a pink shirt, says that you give bullying more than just lip service, but that you are willing to show how you feel, and think, publicly.

I will be wearing pink today.

We have all experienced bullying. Whether it was ‘just’ a little teasing when you were in preschool, or outright threats against your life, as a teen, you still remember it. You still remember where you were, what you were doing, who was with you, and maybe even what you were wearing. And you remember all of this because the bullying caused a trauma in your brain, and the scar of it’s bruising is permanent.

That is how bullying works, it is permanent. Even those who think that we make too much of bullying, can recall with perfect memory, a time when they were bullied. Maybe they feel it strengthened their character, maybe they feel it did not alter the course of their lives, and maybe they are right … but they do still remember it.

I love that media sources are fully behind this movement to eliminate bullying. But … I am not sure that they are fully committed to it.

Anyone who has heard news sources speak of pro athletes, celebrities, or other world personalities, knows that their presence in our society makes them fodder for harassment, gossip, and denigration. Somehow, in our society, we have decided that bullying is bad, but only if the one who gets bullied is not rich.

I disagree. How many wealthy public personalities have suffered at the hands of the stalking and bullying media? How many have lost their right to privacy? How many have lost their physical lives? The ‘reason’ for the bullying that they receive is usually that, they are public figures, and this is just the downside to all the perks that they get. Hum, if a student council president got bullied, would the bullier be able to use that excuse to justify his/her behavior? I think not.

Our media seems to have a Teflon coating. They seem to be able to dish out the harassment, gossip and denigration, but it is never their responsibility for what they say. They would say that they are simply giving the public what we want to know, about these famous people. As though it is our (or the media’s) right to invade the lives of others.

There is truth to their argument, too. The TV shows, the magazines, the websites, and the pictures of famous people that we ingest as a society are extensive. We seem, as a society, to have an insatiable appetite for the joys, sorrows and downfalls of the famous.

Maybe we need to not buy those magazines, watch those programs, subscribe to those websites that feature pictures and stories of individuals. We need to recognize the reality that bullying has probably been done to get the pictures, and the stories are often full of presumptions, and ‘anonymous’ tips from ‘insiders’. Maybe we need to take responsibility for our ‘second hand bullying’ by viewing and reading these materials.

Maybe wearing a pink shirt, while denigrating the players on our favorite sports team, or reading the latest on ‘Brangelina’ in a magazine is actually rather … hypocritical? Maybe we need to start looking at celebrities through the same lens that we would want to be viewed. Maybe we need to “do to others as we would want them to do to us” (Luke 6:31) … THAT is the golden rule that would end bullying forever, and for everyone!

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