March 2, 2024

I am a Christian and one of my best friends is Muslim — something that has never negatively affected our relationship or made me consider her opinions invalid; something that leads us to thoughtful discussion and appreciation for the other’s beliefs.

This is something that reinforces the fact that as Christians, we should love others who need it, regardless of whether or not we can convert them to Christianity.

Some of the more devout believers I have come in contact with relayed that they think our No. 1 goal as Christians is to bring others to the faith, often implying that everything we do should be for that reason, and that reason alone.

I respectfully, but earnestly, disagree. We must have compassion and give love to those who need it.

We must be good stewards of the Lord by treating others as they ought to be treated, not by what they ought to do in exchange for our kindness.

Others within my community openly contest their belief in accepting Syrian refugees for fear of terrorists hiding among them or placing a target on a specific area. This bothers me in ways that are difficult to convey because we are not called to live in fear, but to live in love and love others regardless of what may happen to us.

Christ i a n i t y preaches that in the end we will live with God in heaven, so what about those who do not choose Christianity? Should they be denied human kindness and the chance at peace because they are unbelievers? The hard line is no, because God’s love is not always something best displayed through conversation, but through action.

I am not a perfect Christian, but I do hope the good I do is an example of God’s love for me and that his light is shown through any positive things I do for humanity or the world. I may not know the Bible very well, but I do know there are children crossing the ocean, yearning for a life of no fear.

Therefore, if that means one day a militant group takes my life because we gave people a second chance at living, then I am OK with God calling me home.

Humanity is a right, not a luxury. If I can show others love and allow them even the smallest amount of comfort I experience — even if I am not able to make them Christians — then I am alright with that.

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