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Growing up in the church, we were taught a lot about responsibility. The responsibility of taking care of our neighbors. The responsibility of sharing the ‘Good News.’ The responsibility of being an example of God’s love. When I was confirmed in the Methodist church I took this responsibility very seriously. Not to say that I am perfect, or have always been the perfect Christian, but nevertheless I strive to be the person God intended me to be.

I have to be honest and tell you that I feel at odds with the church today. Maybe not so much the church, but the people in the church. When you think about it, the church is just a building without the people. The Christians make the church a living sanctuary of worship and love.

So let’s talk about love in the church. Are you feeling it? Are you giving it? Not just during the time you are occupying a seat and listening to the sermon. Are you going into your community and sharing God’s love?

This election season has been brutal. It has brought out more ugliness and hate than I have ever seen in my life. What breaks my heart even more is the ugliness and hate I witness from my brothers and sisters in Christ. Some of it is figuratively in my face on social media. But most of it is more subtle. It’s this division between people who I used to call my friend, but now don’t call.

Regardless of who you voted for or what political side you find yourself on, have you thought about the other side? Have you tried putting yourself in someone else’s shoes? Have you loved everyone as you have loved yourself?

I know I haven’t. I’ve let other’s thoughts and opinions get under my skin to the point where I find myself avoiding certain people. I haven’t reached out like I should, or been as forgiving as I would have liked in the past few months. I’ve judged Christians. I’m not perfect.

However, as a Christian I have a duty. I have a responsibility to be the hands and feet of Jesus. Ultimately He is in charge. Not me and not you, but God.

Therefore it is imperative that I pick up the cross of Jesus.

It’s my duty as a Christian to love others unconditionally. To be forgiving. To be tolerant. To be inclusive.

It’s my duty to feed the poor regardless of what God they worship or don’t. To open my home to anyone who needs fed spiritually or otherwise.

It’s my duty to not be judgmental, and leave any judgment to God. Whether you are a straight or gay, Christian or Atheist, male or female, rich or poor. It’s not my place to judge you or your situation.

It’s my duty as a Christian mother to teach my children to not only be tolerant, but welcoming of others. To love a person’s heart regardless of the color of their skin. To share with other children at the playground. To speak kindly to everyone.

It’s my duty to befriend my enemies. To show them love and kindness at all times, no matter how much they persecute me. To forgive them when they insult or talk about me behind my back.

It’s my duty to extend my table instead of building walls. It’s my belief that God intended for us to love each other, not avoid each other.

It’s my duty to give. Whether it’s my money, my time or my love. I’m called to give until it hurts, and not worry about how God will provide.

It’s my duty to fight for the downtrodden. The poor, the disenfranchised, the persecuted.

It’s my duty to trust that God is in control. He will see to it that justice be served, and while I’m to be His feet and hands, ultimately I submit all outcomes to His will.

Let’s never forget we are Christians. We study a book that tells stories of Jesus breaking bread with his enemies, befriending a prostitute, healing the sick.

It’s our duty to love…everyone, everyday. Let us never forget…”And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.” –1 Corinthians 13.13

God bless.

Kimberly Patterson

Kimberly Patterson is a writer, wife and mother of two adorable, over-zealous toddlers. She spends her days in yoga pants, pecking away at the keys on her laptop and pulling her kids off of whatever household furniture they climb upon. She has been published on The Huffington Post, Scary Mommy, Her View From Home, The Mighty, and several other publications. Read more of her insights at truthisinthewriting.com.

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