Christian love means being inconvenienced for another

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CARLA BIANCA RAVANES-HIGHAM

It has been almost three years since I was given the beautiful opportunity to share the stories of others through this column.

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Those three years have brought me great joy because this little corner of the esteemed Manila Times have been a space to share the tales of others’ triumphs and challenges in the hope of inspiring others. It has been a vehicle to spread messages of hope along the lines of “if they can do it, you can too!”

Words have always been some sort of magic to me growing up. I have always loved hiding away in my own little space; pouring my heart out into a little journal while seeing words transform into a life of its own bringing a little pixie dust wherever it goes.

Words have always been a source of encouragement and hope but of course, as anything in the world, it can also be a source of anger, frustration, disappointment, and pain.

As a writer and an empath, words have always been my life’s healing balm but as of late, it has been a source of anxiety and heartbreak. Without going into details, I was verbally attacked a week ago by someone who claimed that she loved Jesus.

Her words mixed with vile accusations, and self-righteous tirade sent me into a spin of panic attacks, fear, and just incessant heartbreak. I have always been a people pleaser and to be lambasted was too much. But more than anything what broke my heart was the fact that this was someone who spent hours on social media declaring her love for God and attending church service.

Luke 6:45 says, “A good person produces good things from the treasury of a good heart, and an evil person produces evil things from the treasury of an evil heart. What you say flows from what is in your heart.”

I was taken aback by the attack but I was more concerned about the message that this supposed Christian was saying. In my own personal walk with Jesus, I have seen countless people who have received more heartbreak from people from the Church rather than of “the world” (really, we are all the same).

In a world full of broken people and events that are disheartening, we do not need to add to another’s pain.
Being a Christian means you have the bigger heart to love people and accept them, flaws and all. However, Christians just like the one I have described has given Jesus a bad name by twisting the way Gospel. They speak of grace and yet pull out a rulebook of who deserves to be loved and blessed.

Nobody is better because we spend hours in church and teach our kids to pray. Being a Christian is not speaking about on social media and loving another is not merely sending in a Facebook post.

Loving the way Jesus loved means being inconvenienced for the sake of another. It’s getting off our own comfortable world to provide shelter, offer food, and be encouraging during the tough times, not belittling another. It’s welcoming everyone into the love Jesus died for us to have. We were all deserving of a fate far worse and yet Jesus came and took it all for us because that is who Jesus is.

He never retaliated as said in 1 Peter 2:23, instead He loved us enough to welcome us even when we were hurting him. That is what Christianity is about: loving people, accepting them, and meeting them in their mess.

We are not here to judge or condemn but simply to love. If there’s any other message that you heard other than this one, that is not the truth of the Gospel. Don’t allow another to tell you otherwise.

The truth of the Gospel is that Jesus knows all about your pain and your mess and yet He loves you any way. More than ever, we need that message today: we are loved, cared for, and there’s a plan, there’s a future.
Don’t let any “self -righteous” Christian take away that gift for no one can take that away from you.

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www.carlabiancaravanes.com

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