Welcome those who are weak in faith,
but not for the purpose of quarreling over opinions.
We do not live to ourselves.
—Romans 14.1, 7
Whenever I quarrel I am likely serving my own beliefs,
but not my neighbor. I’d rather be right than loving.
It is tempting to convince those in error they are wrong;
but it is more effective to simply be present to them in love,
even as I am disagreeing with them or confronting them.
Whatever grip they have on bad ideas will not be loosened
by my proving myself to be right, but by their experiencing
a better way. If it is not a way of love, I have lost.
I don’t have to agree. I can offer myself and my beliefs
with clarity, without either apology or malice,
but humbly, for I am not omniscient,
and yet steadfastly, because it is indeed my belief.
In the context of my respectful, compassionate care for them
and my full embodiment of my beliefs in love
they might come to see the wisdom of my views
that in itself overcomes the weakness of their own.
And they might not. But my calling is not to defend my beliefs;
it’s to love my neighbor. “We do not live to ourselves,”
nor to our faith. We live to love.
Unless we trust love even in the face of outright evil,
we don’t really believe in it, do we?
September 10, 2020