Much like former President Jimmy Carter today I am freely, willing and publicly confessing my sin. While it’s not the same sin as he admitted to, well at least not this time, it is similar because while I have not acted upon it I have held onto it.
So in this “Lenten Letter”, I am admitting to currently battling this issue and have also in my heart allowed it to dwell there as I falsely have held convictions in anger, rhetoric and vitriol.
I must “give up” hating haters on this edition of “Becoming Today”.
Please forgive me. I have sinned and I must release this festering useless emotion that has been blocking my heart.
I know that in asking You shall grant me your grace and mercy.
I have allowed what some might call righteous indignation to be ruled by its cousin, anger, and when those two get together they combine for nothing good.
I need to allow myself to get past the disinformation, misinformation and lack of love by others.
My hatred has not been directed towards any specific individual and certainly no one in my immediate sphere. Rather I have been hating the haters.
I have been enraged and manipulated by those seeking to discriminate, eradicate and wipe out those they disagree, all the while falsely claiming to be doing so in Your name.
I know your judgment will come and I am not trying to do your job for you, as some of them falsely suggest they believe they are, however when I see such manipulation and twisting of Your Word and values, my emotions take over.
I know in releasing this, in publicly admitting my shortcoming that my hearts shall be able to see clearly and then I can work on being part of the solution.
As I learned in Romans 12:21, “Don’t let evil conquer you, but conquer evil by doing good”, I am letting go of the evil of hate and seeking to realign myself with your desires.
Our Natural State, or the place we were created to live in is one of love. As You directed we should “love one another, as I have loved you”.
Not condemn, not destroy, certainly not eradicate, nor even judge, simply love.
And it is through love that I recall Proverbs 31:8-9, causing me to realize that hating the haters does nothing, rather speaking for the afflicted, discriminated and terrorized is my responsibility.
I thank you Lord for granting me the cleansing of my conscience and I accept the challenge that I must stand up and lend my voice to support those attacked, labeled and misunderstood.
Through your strength I shall.
Thank you again Lord, in Jesus’ name, Amen.
My struggle with hate has been fueled by the headlines, especially those directed against a micro-minority of society.
Since there is no time like the present and synchronous with an observance , it’s time to lend some support on a topic you may not have anticipated us addressing.
Today is International Transgender Day of Visibility. And as the haters have been rallying against it, ceaselessly for weeks on end, it is time for me to put my hand up and porcelain, STOP! Look and listen.
Listen to the venom in the voices. Look at the lack of logic and you’ll see that truth is not on their side. Examine the actions and the proposed repercussions for going against their beliefs and you’ll witness anything but those truly seeking to emulate Jesus.
That is why I must foster the courage to live the words found in Ephesians 4:15 (NLT):
“Instead, we will speak the truth in love, growing in every way more and more like Christ, who is the head of his body, the church”.
In the first three months of this year, in 44 states more than 450 laws have been introduced to discriminate against individuals based upon their gender identity or sexual orientation seeking to restrict their freedoms, deny their Constitutional rights, prohibit their access to medical care and in many cases even censor them out of existence.
With many of these measures targeting individuals identified as transgender, that is a focus on at high end estimates of 1 point 6 million people, which is one half of one percent of the U.S population age 13 or above. A microscopic number, not even a full percentage point.
Enough is enough.
Whether or not you agree with an individual’s behavior or share their beliefs, you are not acting from a place of love or legitimate Scriptural basis when you seek to attack, belittle, discriminate or restrict them.
Perhaps a reminder of the Gospel of John is needed. I’ll post certain words quoted here in red letters to accentuate who said them:
It was not their place to judge. That belongs to God, who did not excuse the woman’s sin, rather offered her the same love and grace He has for all.
To become more Christlike is not to be a vengeful dictatorial punisher, it is to love.
In sharing love, we can help others heal and allow them to come to accept the Truth in their own time.
God has created all in His image. No two alike.
The challenges he gives us are also unique. They are tailored to the individual’s purpose according to His plan. It is not yours to judge or attempt to legislate.
Our paths are between us and the Lord. Would you like Him to rush to judge you like you have so many others? I think not.
I again hear the words of Theologian Martin Niemöller:
“First they came for the socialists, and I did not speak out—because I was not a socialist.
Then they came for the trade unionists, and I did not speak out—because I was not a trade unionist.
Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—because I was not a Jew.
Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me”.
I ask how long are you willing to remain silent before they come for you?
As for me, I can no longer remain silent.
I must lend my voice to uplift and offer hope and encouragement to those who are being attacked. There is shelter in the storm, please allow me to help light the way.
These letters and holding myself publicly accountable through them has indeed been helping me. The results may not be immediate but the seeds are planted and progress should be on track to bloom by Easter. To see a rebirth. My own resurrection. I feel I believe it and I am remaining unconditionally faithful.
I pray for each of you everyday and remain hopeful your steps are progressing well. Like all things in your life your participation is required and it is never too late to start. So I will continue to invite you to participate in your own Lenten Letters, in your own style.
Whether in a journal, a document, video diary or scribbled on the back of a receipt just select whatever form you feel most comfortable with. Plus just because I’ll be doing them daily, you don’t need to, just set your own standards and goals as for the frequency.
You could also opt to share your thoughts and suggestions in the comments section. Also if you’d like to raise questions or share in a less public manner, you can always send a message through our Contact page.
Think about it. Pray about it. Meditate on it. Consider it and then decide to join us tomorrow on our ‘no foolin’, weekend edition of “Becoming Today”.