[caption id="attachment_19101" align="alignleft" width="300"] Drew Shriner poses with his Crocs.[/caption]
By Drew Shriner | Echo
Greek II, taught by Bill Heth, professor of biblical studies, concludes the semester by translating the entire book of 1 John from Greek to English. Being in the class, I have ruminated on 1 John for the past few weeks as we have worked our way through it, and it could not have been more timely for me.
One of the major themes of the book is simple: love. God has loved us by sending his only Son so that we might live (4:9). Because God loved us first, we should also love one another (4:11, 19). Not only should we love one another, John goes so far as to say that anyone who does not love their sibling does not actually love God (4:20).
In the past weeks, the love between Christian siblings on our campus has been challenged. I do believe that I have seen much more love than hate, especially in comparison to other controversial topics that have occurred in recent years, but John calls us to a high standard: to love as Christ loves (3:16). It is a standard which I am confident that none of us have met.
My love is imperfect; my love is selfish. Our love is imperfect; our love is selfish. God's love is perfect; God's love is selfless.
As we continue to listen, think and speak (hopefully in that order) about Mike Pence and commencement, let us be challenged by the call to love one another in a few practical ways.
First, let us be humble. One who loves does not presume him- or herself to be better than another. Frankly, none of us are experts. We are students. It is our job to be learners, not teachers. Discussion is a vital component of the learning process, but it seems prideful to enter a conversation with a fellow student considering yourself more intelligent, more well-thought or more rational from the start.
Second, in our humility, let us listen to one another. When you do not consider yourself better than your conversation partner, you could recognize that you may learn from them more than you may teach them.
Third, let us be patient with one another. Let us resist leaping to conclusions about their points or their character. Let us wait to speak until our friend is done speaking (the amount of interruption I have heard is absurd). Let us give one another time to think and process, not demanding quick responses or "conversions."
Perhaps most importantly, let us learn from this experience. Frankly, this is not the most important thing that will ever happen to us. College, though important, is only a small portion of our lives. The things that we do and say in this stage of life are not the final say on who we are as people. If we have done, said or thought hurtful things, let us repent, ask for forgiveness and move forward. If we have been hurt, let us understand, forgive and move forward.
The things that happen to us in this place are ultimately a preparation for what we do after we leave. Let us use this difficult time as an opportunity to challenge ourselves to grow in love for our brothers and sisters.