Some Pieces of My Rebellion
Here are some things that I am trying to remember and do that I figured I would share:
Love the Lord your God with all of your heart, soul, mind, and strength. Loving God means loving what God has created. As such...
Love your neighbor as yourself. Your neighbor is anyone that you come in contact with. Your neighbor can look like you. Your neighbor is another race, another nationality, another religion, another orientation. Your neighbor can agree with you or disagree with you. There is no hierarchy to your neighbors. You are called to love them all.
Listen to other people's stories. People in middle America say they feel like they have been forgotten by the "elites" on the coasts (which itself forgets that there are many non-elites on the coasts). That may well be true, but forgetting is a two way street. There is no part of America that is "Real America." Each person here is just as real an American as anyone else.
"America first" is not the way of Christianity. The Kingdom of God knows no borders. It has no fences or walls. America is not God nor is it God's chosen country. Christians should desire what is good for this country but also Afghanistan, Albania, Algeria, and all the way down to Zimbabwe.
Tell the truth. Speak up when lies are being spread or truth is being suppressed. If you only speak up when you're inconvenienced then you need to reexamine if truth is actually the thing that you care about.
Don't be afraid to say, "This isn't okay" when things aren't okay. By the way, lying about meaningless things like inauguration crowd size, "alternative facts," potentially taking needed healthcare from people without a plan to replace it, repeatedly saying that there were millions of cases of voter fraud without any evidence, banning a religion from entering a nation, etc., etc. is not okay. And it all matters.
Try to build bridges, but don't roll over to avoid conflict.
Cause good trouble.
Do not belittle someone for speaking up about something that is important to them. Try to understand that more is going on with people than you know. Most people have reasons for what they do.
Check your biases. Research whether what you think is based in reality or if you're being played. Educate yourself. Do not be ignorant. Sniff out fake news (though it's often pretty easy to sniff out fake news, but they'll get better at their fakery).
Loving what God has created includes loving creation not just for how we can use it but as something that has intrinsic value in and of itself.
Do what you can to stand alongside those who are most vulnerable from the one losing needed healthcare to the immigrant to anyone else put at risk. Again, listen to their stories.
Some people are jerks. You probably won't be able to change them. Love them, but it's also okay to unfollow them on Facebook.
Sometimes you will have to wade into politics because politics impacts the lives of people. Don't be guilted when someone tells you to stop and just focus on Jesus.
Find rays of light wherever you can. News can be overwhelming and anxiety is in a lot of places, but there is still so much good. Look for the helpers. Find the things that make you smile.
Love your family. Enjoy them. Teach your children as best you can to be honest individuals who love God and love other people. Teach them not to give into fear. Teach them to see value in others. Play with them. Listen to their stories. Nurture on their hope.
Run and read.
Love your neighbor as you love yourself (and don't forget to love yourself).
Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength.