When Christian Love is Misconstrued

I was talking to someone the other day when they posed a good question: “why do Christians get so bent out of shape about certain topics”?

I answered as simply as I could: “because most Christians really love people more than they love themselves, and when an ideal or action has an adverse effect on people, or pushes them further from God…why would they not get bent out of shape?”

They replied: “well, your spirited ‘love’ often looks more like ‘hate’ to me..”

So after talking about this for a minute, I finally found a good analogy that explains how the love-fueled actions of most Christians are often misconstrued as hate.

I can’t speak for everyone claiming to be a Christian, because I don’t know the trueness of their heart….but I can tell you, through this analogy, why I spend a good portion of my time speaking so strongly about various topics:

“I have a three-year-old daughter that I love with all my heart, and I am very protective of her. If one day she suddenly opened the front door and made a run toward the street, I would immediately chase her; I would scream; I would beg for her to stop…because I love her greatly and don’t want her to get hit by a car.

Though she may think she’ll find happiness and joy playing in the street, I think she’ll find misery and possibly death…and therefore I will do whatever I can and yell as loud as I can in an effort to prevent her from going any further.”

Now if this situation were real, I’m sure that from my daughter’s perspective, she would think that I am mad or crazy. And when my daughter heard me yelling and noticed me chasing her, she would assume that I probably hated her and that I don’t want her to be happy. She would possibly cry out “no fair” and start running faster.

The same misconception usually happens when Christians speak up about certain topics, or make a arguments about topics they feel strongly about: people cry “no fair” or “you hate me” or something equally wrong.

In reality, the action of many (probably not all) Christians when it comes to speaking up on many topics is based purely out of love. It’s not about who’s wrong or right. It’s not about building a reputation for intelligence or any other quality. And it’s surely not about any form of personal gain (except for those wacky prosperity-gospel folks who clearly don’t have a Christian bone in their body…but that is for another day).

These days, speaking up is becoming increasingly difficult for Christians…and they risk a lot when they open their mouths or support a cause in any way (their jobs; their friends; their family). Why would a person put so much at risk (without any reward or gain) except out of an act of love.

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