Name tags, claim tags, luggage tags, dog tags; all are used for identification purposes. We use these things to connect them with their owners, with their correct places and people.
I have been sitting silently this past week, trying to figure out what I could say as I watch my brothers and sisters in Christ, friends and family member share their emotional responses on my news feed. I have read cruel, vicious words from people who have spoken into my life with such kindness in the past– all because of something they perceive as unconscionable in someone else.
I have often put down my phone and felt sick at the tags people have given to others, trying to define who a person might be just because their views differ from ours. We have all seen the decline in our friends numbers, or have heard stories of broken relationships in our lives.
We have tried to define people and we blame and point fingers and give titles to people that God never intended.
Instead of pointing at the color of a ballot, of the flag that is waved, the perspective we have, why do we not celebrate the kindness we see in someone? Why don’t we celebrate generosity, mercy, forgiveness, grace?
Dear Ones, hear me. I am not telling you to let go of your ideals unless they don’t match Scripture. I am saying, let go of the anger, the pain, the venom. In a month that is supposed to be full of thankfulness, we have managed to fill almost half of it with anger, bitterness, rage, and cruelty.
Let us, as believers, let the love of Christ fill our hearts, our mouths, our hands, and our feet. They’ll know we are Christians by our love. We are called to be Christ– while He did turn the money-changers out of the Temple, He also held the sick, the dying, the children. Jesus was full of justice, but He was also full of grace.
What will our actions say about the One we claim to follow? We may be the only definition of Christ someone else ever knows. Let our actions define us in the months and years ahead. And let it be Jesus that others see.