If you follow Humans of New York, by now you’re aware that there is a constant battle between Atheists and Christians. On Nigerian social media, it’s similar to the scrimmage between the APC and PDP political parties or between Feminists and Traditionalists. It’s a battle of ideas and dominance – each side devoting more energy to shouting down the other than understanding or educating them.
It hit me that in the midst of the heightened words, you will still find Atheists who are respectful, Christians who are non-judgmental, Political Voltrons who listen, Feminists who are intellectual and Traditionalists who are open-minded. It boils down to values.
Kindness, respect, consideration and love cut across religions and ideologies. Many times, when you see bad behaviour on social media, it has little to do with ideas and a lot to do with the person. Ill-mannered people are badly behaved regardless of their beliefs.
I believe there’s a reason why Jesus summarised religious laws into a single one – love. Love forces you to think of others. It helps you to focus on people more than positions. It also shapes the way you read the Bible as a Christian.
On the surface, there’s very little that condemns slavery in the Bible. But as you read through the lens of love, love forces you to reject it. So while some Christians perpetrated colonialism using the Bible, others fought to eradicate it, because of love.
Some Biblical writers seem to endorse female subjugation and the Ill-treatment of some races. But as you interrogate those actions with love, you reject them. I love how Apostle Paul puts things:
“No matter what I say, what I believe, and what I do, I’m bankrupt without love.
“Love never gives up. Love cares more for others than for self. Love doesn’t want what it doesn’t have.
“Love doesn’t strut, doesn’t have a swelled head, doesn’t force itself on others, isn’t always “me first,” doesn’t fly off the handle, doesn’t keep score of the sins of others, doesn’t revel when others grovel.
“Love takes pleasure in the flowering of truth, puts up with anything, trusts God always, always looks for the best, never looks back, but keeps going to the end.” (1 Corinthians 13:3-7 MSG)Kindness, respect, consideration and love cut across religions and ideologies. Click To Tweet Ill-mannered people are badly behaved regardless of their beliefs. Click To Tweet