It all started with a picture that I shared on Facebook which unintentionally created a debate between a bunch of my friends. I hadn't talked to one of these friends in years. He was my best friend in elementary school.
He ended up being on the 'wrong' side of this debate - wrong in the sense that nobody else agreed with him, including myself.
Anyways, I'm not here to write about Facebook debates. While this whole situation was taking place (between him and many of my other friends), I decided to text him to see how he was doing. Aside from the heated argument.
We hadn't had a conversation in years. He told me that he has changed a lot since grade eight and that he doesn't like the person who he is now - that I wouldn't like the person who he is now.
The thing is, he is different. And everyone was so mad at him for being different. He held strong to his opinion and he was hated for it.
But you know what? We're all different. We all change. We all have experiences that lead us to have opinions, and none of our experiences or opinions will be the same as anyone else's.
What is the same is how words make us feel.
Sure, he disagreed with everyone else. And yes, his opinion does not line up with God's word. However, using harsh words to get our points across does not line up with God's word either. (When is that ever effective anyway?)
God calls us to love. Everyone. Unconditionally.
When we carry on arguments, we are completely disregarding God's firm instruction to love.
Love covers a multitude of sins. (1 Peter 4:8)
Love your neighbour as yourself. (Matthew 22:38)
The greatest of these is love. (1 Corinthians 13:13)
He also calls us to flee from controversies (2 Timothy 2:24) and to be kind, patient, and gentle (25).
This whole day just got me thinking about how we all change. We had our whole lives ahead of us in grade eight, and it was almost as though we were in a sheltered world. Before highschool. Before university. Before we were exposed to so many things that we would have no idea how to handle.
I never would have imagined in grade eight that life would offer so many battles. Broken hearts. Depression. Addiction. I never would have imagined that I would be here today talking to my childhood best friend about his struggles, and watching as my current friends harshly respond to his opinions instead of loving him for who he is.
Right now is a season of change. And I am going to use every opportunity that I have to love those around me. I want people to see a difference in me - I want them to see God in me. I want to be His hands and feet. Because God is love.
And He is the reason that I am here.
For everything there is a season, a time for every activity under heaven.
- Ecclesiastes 3:1