I’ve been reading opinions all week. I actually got to a point where I stopped clicking because I was tired of reading opinions….so it’s funny that now I’m here sharing mine. I really don’t care if you read it. I just needed to get it off my chest.
You see….I have an overly empathetic personality. I hear that empathy is supposed to be a gift. Well, I view it more as a curse at times. Yeah sure…it has it’s perks. It makes me more personable and enables me to be kinder to people because I am constantly putting myself in their shoes in order to feel what they feel. I even have a few friendships that I can truly say are there because of my ability to empathize.
On the flip side though, I sometimes can’t even enjoy the warmth of my own bed without “the curse” creeping in and telling me there is someone, somewhere, sleeping on a freezing bench, which on more than one occasion has sent me to bed in tears.
My heart feels really heavy sometimes – almost unbearably so – because of the way I feel after reading and seeing certain things. This week, my heart has been heavy with Duck Dynasty and homosexuality. After several nights of going to bed sad, I decided to blog about it so hopefully I can feel some peace. I felt this same way when all the Chick-fil-a business went down last year, but I never voiced my feelings because honestly…I was afraid. It’s time for me to stop being afraid though.
Let me preface this by saying I love Duck Dynasty. Benji and I don’t have cable, so we usually watch it online. We love it. LOVE it. They remind me of my family, so I feel a deep connection with them even though we are complete strangers. I really and truly enjoy their show.
However, you will not find an “I stand with Phil Robertson” or an “I support Phil Robertson. PERIOD.” icon on my Facebook page. And here’s why:
I know that a lot of Christians are hellbent on “love the sinner, hate the sin.” Fine, whatever, but can I tell you my experience with something similar? When I was a child, I went to the doctor for one of my well checkups. I wasn’t overweight yet, but my eating habits were well on their way to sending me there. I remember being completely blindsided and…hurt, at this particular well visit. The doctor, who obviously felt he was doing his job by warning me of the inherent danger ahead, told me that if I didn’t stop and turn from my ways, I would end up being carried around in the back of a truck because I would be too big to fit inside of it.
I’m 27 years old, and I can still feel the drop in my gut when he said it. The shame. The guilt. The filthiness. The gluttony. All of it washed over me through his words, and all at once, I felt alone and not good enough. I still remember it so clearly.
This one moment has affected me on a daily basis, ever since it happened. Something that this doctor saw, not as mean, but instead as part of his job and as a “must” say, has at times led me to feel far from God, and far from both friends and family alike. Over the past 20 years, I cannot count the times I’ve looked in the mirror with disgust and self-hate because of what was planted in my head that day. I still struggle with food and my weight. Although he had the best of intentions, nothing he said changed me for the better. It actually changed me for the worse, and hurt me deeply.
This is why I cannot and will not ever tell someone the “err” of their ways. I don’t care if they are a drug dealer or a drug taker. A liar. An adulterer. A gossip. A girl who doesn’t cover her hair when she prays. A glutton. A homosexual. A heterosexual. A thief. A girl who wears jewelry or makeup. A politician. A guy who shaves. Someone covered in tattoos. An alcoholic. A dirty-mouthed sailor. Etc. Etc. Etc.
I. Don’t. Care. It is not my job to have a stance on someone else’s life. My job is to love God and to love my neighbor. Put even more simply, my job is to love.
Love is so much more powerful than words, y’all. If you really want to lead people to Jesus, love them. And I mean the no-strings-attached kind of love. Just LOVE them and accept them as they are. Don’t look at them as a project to be worked on. No. Show them love, acceptance, and friendship. If God sees fit to change someone, then let him do the changing. I can assure you….he is big enough to change someone, even if that someone ends up being you.