Today, I Choose to Love

<< I sat down to do homework, but something was weighing heavily on my heart>>

To any and all who will listen,

I am a Christian. I love Jesus with all my heart, and I trust him because I have seen his faithfulness throughout my entire life.

And as a Christian, there is one thing that grieves my heart more than anything else. It hurts me when I see it happening, because it causes other people to hurt. That is when people claiming to be “Christians” bastardize the word of God to fit their own selfish agendas. They take Bible verses out of context, they “interpret” God’s word, and they twist God’s love into hatred in an attempt to justify their own horrendous actions. We all know how it feels to be boxed in by a stereotype that is very untrue to the majority, but exists because these people yell the loudest. I am of the opinion that yelling to get one’s way is hardly ever effective. Louder doesn’t equal validation. I do not need to give examples, because you all know exactly what I am referring to. These actions turn people away from Jesus and give them the idea that he is hateful and spiteful and unforgiving. These actions tell people that they believe they have more right to decide what should happen than anyone else. If you ever were told that Jesus hated you, or that you were unworthy of love or redemption, I apologize. Please understand: this is absolutely untrue. I am unbelievably sorry. My heart hurts to think this is happening even as I type this, and even more to think that people believe it.

I don’t believe I have any right to condemn people for their actions. I don’t get to decide what is wrong and what is right. Why? Because I am not perfect. By any stretch of the word. I am broken and flawed and in need of help. I am in no place to make decisions about anyone else’s life, and I accept that. My job is to love. To shine light to everyone I meet. To show that there is hope for the hopeless. To share my story and let other’s know that the pain doesn’t need to last forever. I cannot control what other people do, I only have control over how I act and react, and I am not going to throw that away. In a world full of darkness, we certainly don’t need more. I want to be a light.

We had to take a personal strengths test my first semester of college and my number one strength was empathy. I tend to take on the burdens of others, but this also means I get to experience their joys on a deeper level. I don’t pretend to know exactly what their feeling, but I try to see where they’re coming from. Because of this, I am deeply pained by the chaos and the hurt in the world around me. And I am not going to sit idly by and let the hurt win. I am one person, and alone, I cannot change the world, but I can do my best to positively impact those that I come in contact with. I do not want to live in a world of hatred.

My closing thought, and the most important part of this entry: God doesn’t hate you. He loves you. Unconditionally. More than you can ever comprehend. No matter who you are, what you’ve done, what you look like, what you believe, where you live, or what anyone has told you. And neither you, nor anyone else, can EVER take that away or change that fact. He does not love anyone more than anyone else, and he does not want you to fail. He doesn’t want you to live in fear, but to walk in freedom. YOU ARE LOVED. I cannot say it enough.

Think a little bit about conditional love. It’s exhausting, and if we loved like that, no one would measure up.

We always have a choice. Today, I choose to love. Unconditionally.

Love,

Tori

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