A week ago I was talking to my pastor, or rather, he was talking to me and I was listening and making observations. He talked about how America has changed over time from a Christian majority to a post-modern (relativistic) outlook. But now, he says, we live in a post-post modern society that recognizes that we need truth to function, but we are struggling to find shared truth. I have been thinking about that a lot since then.
What truth can we all agree upon and share to build a firm foundation among the many differing beliefs in America?
I believe that the most important truth that we can get behind is that life matters.
How can we live out this truth? Through love.
In the Bible God’s greatest commands are to first Love him and then love others. In order to heal the relationship fractures in America we must do so with love. Tolerance will not suffice, for it keeps us apart so that we do not have to deal with the messiness of relationships and those we disagree with.
The Bible also says, “But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back.” Luke 6:35
Even more sobering is John 15:12-13 “My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.”
The truest form of love is self-sacrifice. Only once we reach this point will we truly reach each other’s hearts and see each other as human beings with infinite value. So often I choose fear over love. I fear my fellow man’s beliefs will bring destruction in our nation. I choose my ego and defensiveness. I must be right. I must defend my beliefs. But these things do not lead to healing.
Instead, I want to choose to focus on what I love about others. I want to sacrifice my fears and self-interest and bring to light my fellow man’s worth.
Once we make a connection of love and develop respect, we can begin to discuss things we disagree on. Maybe neither side will change their views. But we will still gain empathy and new thinking patterns.
The process of love will help us discover our shared truth. Love bridges the divide of race, religion, age, sex, culture, orientation, and everything that separates us from each other.
I am going to begin this process by writing love letters. I will write letters to my family, friends, and to God. I will tell them what I love about them. I will tell God what I love about his creation, about the earth and life. I hope to contribute to healing and connect with those I agree and disagree with.
Join me in writing love letters. Let’s change the world.