And he has given us this command: Those who love God must also love their brother and sister.
-1 John 4:21
I'm a little torn right now. I've been watching FOX News, which most of you know I watch regularly - and Sean Hannity just had a radical Muslim, Anjem Choudary, as his guest. Oooh, I used the word radical - so not PC.
As you can imagine, the two disagreed as much as humanly possible. Sean Hannity is a self-proclaimed Christian - he just said it on a later segment. So he's a Christian. But here's the thing, after he was done shouting back and forth with Anjem he said this: Alright, well thanks for joining us, you're one sick and twisted S.O.B."
NOTE: to my political critics who say I am a radical conservative, please keep in mind I am criticizing someone I watch regularly on a right of center network.
Hannity's comment really caught me by surprise and really put me off. As a Christian I proclaim the love and sacrifice of Jesus Christ and what that means for my life, and I have a hard time imagining that saying something like that would convey this message. Thoughts?
No one is without fault, especially me. Today while driving to work I was convicted by how I "talk" to other drivers while I'm in my car. I'm glad my own child wasn't in the backseat. Of all the places I spend my time, I curse more behind the wheel of my car than I do in every other place I spend time combined. This is a problem.
First, most of this language stems from the fact that the person in front of me is driving too slow (which is usually the speed limit). I know I've gotten a handful of speeding tickets, but please drive at least 5 over :) So what is it in me that feels the need to yell at the person in front of me for following the law? I use the same words toward them as I do the people who cut me off or worse, almost cause a collision that wouldn't be my fault. So I'm going to get mad because someone is following the law. Makes sense. NOT.
Those same people behind the wheels of their own cars would be people I would flash a smile if I walked by them in the mall. They're the same people I would offer to help carry their groceries to their car. They're the same people I would open a fitting room for at J.Crew. They're the same people I would spend time with at church.
My best friend is a much better drive than me. She drives the speed limit, safely changes lanes, and follows the two-second rule on the freeway 99.9% of the time. Sadly, if I didn't know she was behind the wheel of the car in front of me, I might say some of those nasty things to her. Reality Check 101.
People I work with wouldn't know I do this because I really don't say the F, S, B, and D words. I am being so PC. The kids I volunteered with wouldn't know I do this because I don't say them there either. My mom, who will eventually read this blog, doesn't know that I say F-ing idiot behind the wheel because I don't say it to her or in front of her.
The point is: whether to a person's face or behind their back, what we say matters. It really matters more what we say when no one hears it. God hears it - "even darkness will not be dark to You...for darkness is as light to You." Even in the secret, everything is exposed. I am called to Love my neighbor as myself. I am called to go one step further and be a servant to my neighbor. The "I am third" rule. God first, others second, me third. So what would it look like to serve a stranger who is driving in front of me on I-25? I think it might start with encouragement, as strange as that sounds. I mean, how can you even do that when you don't even know them and you can't even see their face? That's another thing, I glare at people as I pass them after waiting for them to move to the right. Yikes. Talk about being open about my struggles.
Maybe it's praying for that person, for whatever they're going through - that their day would be blessed by the presence of God. I'm pretty sure people can't see the face of Christ as my face frowns and glares at them for being obedient to the Law. (The Bible also addresses obedience to the laws of the government.) Like I said, yikes.
So Sean Hannity vehemently disagreed with his Muslim guest - but I can only imagine that Jesus's words would speak truth in love: That He is the only way to Heaven, that there is nothing that can separate Anjem Choudary from His love, and that He longs to know Anjem intimately because He loves him.
So maybe that is where I should start when I'm behind the wheel of my car.