I've spent a large portion of my life trying hard to please everyone and have them like me.
True. There are few people who's opinions don't matter to me. But for the other majority of folks...I care.
I've tried to overcome this insecurity my whole life. Every time I hear the song, "You Must Love Me", I think of how hard I've tried to accomplish and force this kind of love for me.
One aspect of my life, the most important, and the one that I'm most sensitive about is my religion.
The older I get, the less concerned I've been about other's opinions regarding my religion.
But this week, that changed.
I saw, read and felt more hatred for those of my religion than I ever thought possible. I have been completely naive to how despised "Mormons" are. I have felt the deepest, most evil forms of racism I ever thought possible.
I'm not going to lie. For a couple of dark hours I allowed this hatred to bring me down. I wallowed. I languished. But...you must love me.
I've never hated anyone for the church they attend. I've never expected, demanded or oppressed everyone I know to embrace my beliefs. I believe in the creed, "Agree to disagree." I have friends from many religious backgrounds and have enjoyed wonderful relationships, conversations and ideas with them. The thought that someone would hate me for the way I worship, at the level I experienced the other night, never occurred to me.
You must love me?
No. Because your opinion doesn't matter. Only His opinion matters.
"He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not." "Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted." "But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed." Isaiah 53:3-5
My religion is not the mistakes of men, of human error. People aren't perfect, my Savior is. My religion is the worship of the true and living Christ and my faith in Him.
And as He was rejected, stricken, despised, yet he bore our griefs and carried our sorrows....for all, even those who hate Him...and me. And through His love, I can and will be healed and will get over my expectation of everyone to love me. I will allow the chastisement of peace and stripes placed upon Him, heal me.
I hope those hate-mongers know, that they don't even need to ask whether or not He loves them. He loves them too.