The Grudge & Why It Needs To Go
How does this land on those of us who call ourselves Christians? What do we mean now when we speak of "the grudge" in our own context?
We mean all of the resentments that have been harbored between us over these past years... the weaponization of the Bible... the politicization of faith... our deeply held beliefs that turn us against one another... the way that we demonize those who disagree with us... the way so many Christians forget or ignore the teachings of Christ...
Those of us who declare that we are followers of Jesus need some revival right about now. We need to return to the very basic tenets of the Christian faith---basics that have their origins long before all of the distortions that have become the bedrock of American Christianity.
To Love God and to Love Everybody.
This is what Jesus declared was the greatest commandment. To Love God and Love Everybody. Everything else is commentary--shaped by our biases, fashioned in our bubbles, created out of our particular worldview.
And we can spend our time trying to prove others wrong, and declare ourselves completely in the right or we can do something else. We can simply practice these two things in tandem---to Love God and Love Everybody--and maybe... just maybe we can build a better world.
I read a quote from Bob Goff recently that speaks directly into this. He wrote:
We won’t get very far in life on information alone. Eventually we’ll realize we were wrong about things we thought we knew, and we’ll wish we’d just loved people instead of trying to prove them wrong.
Almost a decade ago, I came to the realization that a lot of the things I once believed to be inviolate when it came to my Christian faith were anything else but. I had been relying on information alone, refusing to see Scripture through any other lens but my own.
And then I realized that when Jesus said that every aspect of Scripture hung upon that Greatest Commandment---it changed me. It is still changing me. And Lord knows I need changing!
May you find the freedom that comes from focusing on that simple command---to Love God and Love Everybody. May you be set free from the grudge that has kept us all from finding true unity in Christ.
And may the grace and peace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you now and always. Amen.