Our scripture texts for this week’s mid-week Lenten service have been on my mind all day. The first reading was from Micah 6, with verse 8 really standing out. “He has told you, O mortal, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?” That sounds so simple, doesn’t it?
The second reading was from Romans 12:9-13. The photo above contains the portion of the text that has stayed with me today. Again, the words sound so simple. “Don’t just pretend that you love others: really love them.” Another version says, “Let your love be genuine.”
When was the last time you showed real love for others? Too often we say one thing, but are thinking another. We say things to please or appease our audience, thinking they will like us if we say what we think they want to hear. Is popularity the driving force behind posts, or is it an outpouring of what is truly in your heart?
Everyone sees things thorough their own filter. My reality is different than your reality. In my opinion, that is the way it should be. I think where things go wrong, is when we feel our way is the only way. When we insist that we are the only “right” ones, we are not really loving others. We cannot honor each other if we are too busy judging them based on our own set of rules as to what is right.
My mind tends to connect scripture lessons and snippets of Pastor’s sermons to things happening in agriculture. Lately, I haven’t been feeling much love on social media when it comes to agriculture. So many articles, memes, blog posts, tweets, statuses, whatever, have been divisive. If you don’t agree with this person, you are a shill. If you don’t agree with that person, you are anti-science. If you choose to eat this food, you are an elitist. If you choose to eat that food you are poisoning your family. Read my 10 truths about this farming system that I have no experience in, but am writing about anyway. Sometimes I just want to bang my head on the wall! One thought from Pastor’s sermon seemed to fit into these feelings. We want a set of rules to follow, yet we don’t all agree on the rules. The rules were made to make order out of chaos, yet now we have chaos because we don’t like the rules. It helps to explain church denominations…yet the same can be said for agriculture. There is no one hard and fast rule about how to grow things…or even what things to grow. Yet, we want to separate people into categories, and we judge them based on which category we put them into. Doesn’t make a lot of sense, does it?
This is the part where I’m really thankful for grace and forgiveness. As much as I try to live like these scripture passages say, I know that I will fail. That doesn’t mean that it’s okay to give up on trying! Some days, being kind is awfully difficult. That is when I need to hate the wrong…the wrong being my attitude. Some people like to make loving them more of a challenge, but when you are loving the good, you can usually find something to love. 🙂
My challenge to you, is to work on really loving others, and focus on the positives when you write. Think about how your post might be perceived by those who do not live in your box. Was the post written with good intentions, or was it written because others have posted on this topic and received a good response?
The power to change the attitude of the multitude begins with one…you. Love the good!