Open Hearts, Open Hands

My Papa died from heart failure this time last year. His death was painful, leaving an empty void in our lives: the absence of a husband for Grammy, a father for my mom, and a spiritual role model for me. Growing up, he was the man I looked up to for my faith. After leading my dad to Jesus, Papa became the rock for my family's biblical knowledge. When my family stopped going to church, and no one could answer my questions about the Bible or the world, he was the only person I could ask and get an answer.

It wasn't until college when I became aware of his misconceptions about God. He knew a ridiculous amount about Scripture, but what he failed to grasp was the heart of God, and that steered him to some crazy theology and a very joyless faith. Papa never listened to other people's sides unless he was going to dispute them, only reading opposing perspectives to argue, never to learn. But who he sparred with most, and who he struggled to love the most, were the people whose opinions followed his opposing political party.

Sounds like America's 2020. Not the heart of God.

God's heart is for unity, compassion, and charity. And people - all people – remind me of this.
I disagree with my friends over everything, from fast food rankings to healthcare, but none of these differences change the way we see & love each other. My boyfriend votes and worships and prays differently from me, but he continues to push me towards God because of this. If we surround ourselves only with like-minded people, we lose the chance to gain wisdom, understanding, and humility.

But friends and boyfriends are much easier to love compared to the infuriating people I watch online. Regardless of their interesting beliefs, the same people who frustrate me are the same people who remind me who Jesus is. They direct me towards aspects of God – justice, empathy, sacrifice, boldness – that I don’t carry. They challenge me to shift my perspective wider, so I can see them better. When we see God’s people how he sees them, then we start loving like Christ.

In promoting peace, I’m not attempting to discourage righteous anger. It’s when that anger manifests into a hatred towards others is when the church divides itself and loses its purpose. Too often I see Christians (and - if we’re being honest - myself) acting as the Judge, bringing shame and condemnation to the people Jesus loves. If we let this anger and pride reside within us, it becomes this bitter resentment that hardens our hearts. And what then? We’re living the complete opposite of what Christ asks us to do.

If we're not falling on our hands and knees at the foot of the cross asking Jesus for the way, we're not grounded, regardless of how sound we think our knowledge of Scripture or knowledge of God is. Scripture forms our foundation of the truth, but abiding with Jesus is what keeps us in that truth, and what better way to abide in him than humbling ourselves to let his will be done? But we can't do that if we're too intent on holding tightly to our own opinions with closed fists and hard hearts.

Papa could have loved so many people if he would’ve just humbled himself to listen. He could have led so many people to Jesus if he would’ve agreed to disagree and cared for others the same. Now I believe this is the time to be a people of peace, dropping our pride to pick up his love, to change us more into the unblemished bride he calls for us to be.

Author | Caroline Beasley

Recent

Archive

 2021

Categories

no categories

Tags

1 Corinthians 1 Kings 1 Peter 2 Corinthians 2 Peter Abba Abiding Abigail Bradley Abundance Accountability Actions Adam Salway Addiction Adoration Alafia Adeleke Alex Hinton Alignment Andrew Elder Andrew Smith Anger Anna DiCosty Anna Goellner Anointing Ansley Davenport Anxiety Armor of God Ashlyn Williams Ashton Brantley Asian American and Pacific Islander Month Aubrey Gold Authority Autumn Pressley Bailey Meyne Balance Becca Morgan Being Uncomfortable Being mortal Beloved Benji Johnston Bentley Clark Bethel Black History Month Blessing Body Image Body of Christ Boldness Boundaries Brad Schiebel Bravery Breakthrough Brittany Futch Brokenness Brooke DeLoach Brooklyn Holloway COVID-19 Caitlin Cooper Calling Calvary Cam Pace Caroline Barnes Caroline Beasley Caroline Newton Celebration Change Charlie Knox Child-like Chloe Glass Chosen Christina Hensley Christlikeness Christmas Survival Guide Christmas Claire Jordan Clarity Colorado Comfort Commitment Communion Community Comparison Compassion Complacency Confidence Connection Consistency Contentment Control Conviction Correction Counseling Courage Covenants Creativity Cristina Rosiles Dating Decisions Dependency Depth Desperation Devon Radford Disappointment Discernment Discipleship Leadership Blog Discipleship Discipline Distraction Diversity Division Doubt Dreams Dutch Williams Easter Eat the Book El Roi El Shaddai Elders Elijah Elizabeth Sprinkle Ellie Knight Ellyzsa Valencia Emily Baker Emily Goldin Emily Helton Emily Summers Emma Kate Shelton Emma Whitmer Emmanuel Fortuchang Emotions Empathy Emptiness Encountering God Encounter Encouragement Rooms Endurance Environment Envy Erin Gilleland Eternity Evan Correa Evangelism Exodus Expectation Faithfulness Faith Family Fear of the Lord Fear Feeling Lost Feeling Safe Forgiveness Fredom Freedom Freely Given Freshley Friendship Fruits of the Spirit Future Garner Gay Generosity Genesis Gentleness Gift Giving Giving Glory of God God as a Father God is Smart God is with us God's Character God's Heart God's Names God's Plans God's Plan God's Power God's Presence God's Promises God's Timing God's Voice God's Will God\'s Character God\'s Heart God\'s Names God\'s Plans God\'s Plan God\'s Power God\'s Presence God\'s Promises God\'s Timing God\'s Voice God\'s Will God\\\'s Character God\\\'s Heart God\\\'s Names God\\\'s Plans God\\\'s Plan God\\\'s Power God\\\'s Presence God\\\'s Promises God\\\'s Voice God\\\'s Will God\\\\\\\'s Character God\\\\\\\'s Presence God\\\\\\\'s Voice Government Grace Gratitude Guatemala Guidance Haley Blanchard Haley Hall Hallie Turner Hannah Cole Healing Heart Posture Heaven Hinds Feet on High Places Hispanic Heritage Month History of Wesley Holidays Holiness Holly Avera Holy Spirit Holy Week Home Honor Hope Hospitality Humility Hunger Hunter MacInnis I Am Identity Idols Image of God Imagination Influence Inheritance Intention Intercession Interning Intimacy Isolation Jake Stephens Jamaica Jamie Cherf Jealousy Jennifer Daniel Jesus John Wesley John Joseph Joy Judgment Julia Baughn Justice Justin Patton Kalli Drake Karla Sanchez Tavera Katherine Burnette Katie Courson Katie Pilson Katie Pitner Kelley Losinger Kelly Losinger Kelsey Parham Kennedy Browning Kimberly Klaer Kindness Kingdom Knowing God Knowledge Known Kourtney Axelberg Kristen Fikse Kyle Pickett Language Latinx Heritage Month Lauren Forbes Leadership Legacy Lia Herrera Life Light Lindsey Conway Listening Living Water Living with God Logic Loneliness Longing Los Angeles Loss Love Languages Love Luvlan Lee Mackenzie Wells Maddie Marsh Madeline Current Madelyn Livingston Madison Davis Makinizi Hoover Mariah Foote Mariah Taylor Marlena Sculac Marriage Martin Luther King Jr. Maturity Mental Health Mercy Meredith Ashburn Messiah Miracles Missions Morgan Attebery Mourning Names Narnia Nashville Natalie Mata Nathan DeYoung New Covenant New Year Obedience Old Covenant Olivia Beals Olivia Ellis Openness Outreach Pain Passover Past Paul Peace Perfection Perseverance Perspective Peter Pharisees Philippians Power Praise Prayer Guide Prayer Pride Processing Prophecy Protection Provision Psalm 23 Psalms Purity Purpose Rachel Dow Rachel Erin Taylor Rachel Henderson Racial Healing Racial Reconciliation Rebecca Mejia Recipes Reconciliation Red Rising Redemption Refinement Reflection Reform Refreshing Relationship Remedy Repentance Resolutions Resources Responsibility Restoration Rest Resurrection Reverence Revival Rhythm Righteousness Risk Romance Romans 8 Romans Rosalie Vendrell Sabbath Sacrifice Salvation Sam Adams Sam Carroll Sam Darby Samantha Forbes Samantha Richey Sanctification Sarah Savoie Savannah Shaw Savannah Ugan Scripture Seasons Secrets of the Secret Place Seeking God Selah Self-love Sermon on the Mount Serving Shaking Shame Sidney Counsell Singleness Sin Slowing Solitude Sorrow Sovereignty Spiritual Disciplines Spiritual Gifts Spiritual Health Spiritual Themes Spiritual Warfare Status Steadfastness Stephanie Seda Stephanie Stewart Strength Stress Struggles Suffering Summer Survival Guide Summer of Psalms Summer Surrender Temple Temptation Tenderness Tension Testimony Thankfulness The Beatitudes The Church The Cross The Gospel The Law The Lord's Prayer The Lord\'s Prayer The Lord\\\'s Prayer The Prodigal Son The Road to Life The Secret Place The Shack The Ten Commandments The Trinity The Word of God Therapy Tori Kramer Transformation Transition Trust Truth Uncertainty Unity Urgency Values Victory Vision Vulnerability Wandering Wednesday Night Recap Who Am I Wilderness Wisdom Wonder Word for the Year Words Worship Worth