Love. When I was 5 I would have told you love was the gooey chocolatey center of a cookie. When I was 15 I would have told you love was dead because boys were annoying. Now, at 21, I would tell you that love is a choice. Love says yes to the right things and no to wrong. Love is a verb.
I have found this verb to be true because of its display in my life by God.
Lately I have been struggling with the topic of injustice. Mainly what my role in this world is and how to properly take a stand. So if love is a verb, where do I go from here? Especially as a Christian?
Faith is the root of all Christian belief. Defined as, "confidence or trust in a person or thing.” It is loyalty to God because He has saved you from living off of a moral code so that you may instead live in freedom.
"The fundamental fact of existence is that this trust in God, this faith, is the firm foundation under everything that makes life worth living. It’s our handle on what we can’t see..." Hebrews 11:1 (MSG).
Sparking from Faith is sister Hope. In its verb tense, it means, "to look forward to with desire and reasonable confidence.” Faith roots us, Hope drives us. Hope is, in a sense, a motivator. Faith believes in the Vision that Hope casts. As a people, we Hope for better things.
While being content and grateful for what we have now, Hope pushes us to seek, to innovate, and to rely on God for every step.
If we live our lives rooted in Love and Faith and propelled by Hope, then what do we do with the conversation of Injustice? As Christians, what action (besides prayer) do we take in a world full of injustice?
The first definition for Justice is, "the quality of being just; righteousness, equitableness, or moral rightness.” It is where one fights for, and upholds, a justice cause.
“[Love] It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out.” 1 Corinthians 13:6 (MSG)
In today's society it is easy to hide behind the screens of our handheld devices. It is easier to type and use a hashtag than it is to speak up and speak out against injustice. We see examples of injustice every day that we see racism and hatred. However, to combat this, I believe we take our Love, Faith, and Hope and act through empathy. The proper response is to bring the light of Jesus to every unjust situation through a listening ear, an extended hand, butter being loaned to a neighbor, and so much more. It’s not found in guns and violence.
“Here’s another old saying that deserves a second look: ‘Eye for eye, tooth for tooth.’ Is that going to get us anywhere? Here’s what I propose: ‘Don’t hit back at all.’ ...If someone drags you into court and sues for the shirt off your back, giftwrap your best coat and make a present of it. And if someone takes unfair advantage of you, use the occasion to practice the servant life...Live generously," Matthew 5:38-42 (MSG, emphasis mine).
As Christians, our views will not always line up with those of others. And that’s okay. They don’t have to. Our first “job” is simply to love those that don’t understand who God is and keep our brothers and sisters accountable.
One of the best things we can do for our community is being an active church. This can be done by both building the four walls and also having outreach through mentorship, small groups, festivals, or whatever else you choose to do to create strength within your community. We each have an individual responsibility to stand up for injustice, but in the strength of community comes even more courage to speak up, speak out, and be an active church. Faith, Hope, and Love are uniters and forgivers and fighters. They build bridges and tear down walls. They let mercy triumph over judgement. And they want to find a place in your heart so that your actions may be righteous as we take care of our community.
This post only scratches. the. surface. (barely). of everything I've been thinking about and the action I want to take. And while I don't have all the answers, I will try to always remember this:
“Three things will last forever—faith, hope, and love—and the greatest of these is love.”
1 Corinthians 13:13 (emphasis mine)
*all definitions from Dictionary.com