It can feel gratifying to fight. To win a protracted debate, point by point. But this can quickly become counterproductive if we’re not careful.
Loving our enemies, as I was reminded by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s sermon, does not mean silently standing by as injustice continues to reign.
But if we operate in hate and bitterness, if we cannot envision the more just world we are trying to create, creating it first internally, we will never achieve our goal of peace.
Punishment is not justice, anger is not righteousness, and vain haughtiness does not lift up the community.
Accountability and truth keep us on the path to better progress – a rudder, not a weathervane. These are tools meant to steer us to our best selves in the context of the world around us, not tear down irreparably.
I love fiercely, and I do not rejoice in using my voice against others. But when I see blatant hypocrisy by those who are self-appointed champions of some worthy cause or another who are causing damage because their motivations are self-serving, I am compelled to speak.
Love is not anemic. Though I speak without hate, my challenge is to learn to speak the truth in love, even to those who hate me and hate the record of accountability I feel obliged to communicate.
I long to put aside the burden of this language of fighting, to transform these swords into ploughshares, to work FOR rather than against. To redirect my efforts into a warmer form of love and justice-seeking.
This is coming, very soon. It will be so gratifying.
I’ll press forward until then.
(As Donna Frye says: “It’s just politics. Don’t take it personal.”)