I like your Christ. I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ.
A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.
Jesus, in John 13:34-35
This verse has never stopped being true.
It seems unfair.
Almost too simple.
I don’t mean to understate the amount of work there is to do.
Believers, we have a lot of work to do.
But the work is disarmingly simple.
We are not to be known and represented by racism, sexism, superiority, or fear.
We are to be known by our radical love.
Not everyone who calls themselves a Christian lives this way.
Horrible things have been done in the name of Christianity and it breaks my heart.
How can we undo the wrongs throughout history that have been committed by “Christians?”
While it is impossible to fix the past, here are some tangible things we can do to make a difference now:
- Befriend those who are different than you. Get to know them. Listen more than you speak. If you’re in St. Louis, check out The Good Neighbor Program to meet some refugees from war-torn countries.
- Break bread with “the least of these.” Jesus ate with tax collectors and “sinners” a lot while he was on earth. We can follow his example by opening our homes and lives to those whom society has trampled upon. And not out of self-righteousness, but out of love, with a desire to learn from them, not to “save” them.
- Love your neighbor as yourself. Jesus says this is one of the greatest commandments. Make sacrifices for one another. Practice solidarity. Share one another’s burdens. Make their troubles your own troubles.
- Educate yourself. Read books written by authors of various ethnicities. Learn from those who may view the world differently than you do.
- Give. Give of your time, your talents, and your finances. If you want to see a difference, it can’t merely be words. Don’t sit on the sidelines and bemoan what’s happening in our world when you can do something about it. Support charities who reach out to the marginalized and the oppressed. One person really can make a difference.