Shawn Benson photo

Shawn Benson

Can you believe that we just entered the third quarter of 2021? It has been quite a year, hasn’t it! And we have so many amazing things coming in this season, like Halloween, the presidential elections, Christmas, and then the New Year to wrap it all up. But, do you know what all of those things have in common? Controversy.

Yep, everyone has an opinion about everything these days. I suppose that’s nothing new, but with the advent of social media and the decline of our moral society, everyone’s opinion, whether based in fact or fiction, gets to be shared, and usually with fire and gnashing of teeth. And somehow, despite the warnings of scripture, Christians have found themselves in the middle of the fray.

Since when is being right more important than being loving? We are admonished that “they will know us by our love for one another,” (John 13:35) yet so many are found brawling over every possible topic.

We are in a place in society where one can literally never say anything right. The theme seems to be that unless you line up with my agenda and say things exactly as I do verbatim, I will beat you to a pulp verbally and make it to where you never want to open your mouth again. Really? Is this what we have come to? It’s time to get back to the basics.

Luke 6:31-32 states, “Treat others the same way you want them to treat you. If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them.”

And a few verses later, Luke 6:35-36 states, “But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return; and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High; for He Himself is kind to ungrateful and evil men. Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.”

So instead of worrying about “demonic jack-o-lanterns,” “occult Christmas trees” and how much of an idiot your neighbor is for picking the wrong presidential candidate, it’s time to get back to the basics. Love God and love people. It’s an odd day for the church when we have absolutely no hesitation in stepping into debate over these controversial subjects (after all, we don’t care what people think about us, right?), but wouldn’t be caught dead opening our mouths to share the gospel of the kingdom with those around us, which if we were being honest, is just about the most loving thing that we could do.

Man, the enemy really has us turned around! Do we really want to meet God face to face, having never shared of His love with another human being?

How important do you think your Christmas tree convictions are by comparison? Where does love weigh in the balance in respect to how you treated your neighbor regarding those convictions?

I think you will find that if you have not love, everything else will burn up. I for one don’t want to barely scrape into Heaven as through fire (1 Corinthians 3:15). Personally, I would rather hear, “Well done good and faithful servant.”

So, as we step into the third quarter of what is arguable the oddest year in modern human history, let’s get back to real Christianity, love one another and go out with a bang!

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