Okay, so let me start off by saying that I like Chick-fil-a. I like their food. Every now and then I want a bite of that awesomely seasoned piece of chicken on a perfectly buttered bun. And those waffle fries? Can’t get enough of them.
My appreciation for Chick-fil-a has nothing to do with what their company leaders believe or don’t believe. I also love Starbucks, Apple, Walt Disney World and Wes Anderson films. I couldn’t care less what any of the people connected with those organizations or Wes believe or don’t believe about the world either. Like Chick-fil-a, I just like their product and they bring a little enjoyment into my life from time to time.
All that said, I read a great post by Matthew Paul Turner recently about his take on the Chick-Fil-A controversy. You can check that blog out here. Whatever your feelings about the issue at hand, what cannot be argued with is a profound statement Matthew made:
“it’s impossible to follow Jesus when issues trump people”
When religious leaders asked Jesus what the most important commandment was the answer was pretty simple. Jesus said the most important commandent was to love God with everything that you are. Jesus gave them a freebie, though, by saying the second most important commandment was like the first. We also need to pay attention to the directive to love the people around us. Jesus said this was so important that the two could not be separated and that if we spent our attention getting those two things right then all of the requirements of God would be met. As the blog post said, it wasn’t “love God, love causes.”
Love God, love people. Pretty simple stuff.
So I wonder how many times I take the issues that get me stirred up, whether they are in the context of personal conflict or the latest social debate, and forget that there are people attached to those things. I’m not on earth to win arguments or get my way or advance a social agenda that makes it more comfortable for me to live out my values. I’m here to love God and love people in such a way that it causes others to consider what Jesus could mean to them.
Jim Collins said recently, “Life is people and time spent with people you love.” I will continue to eat at Chick-fil-a, grab a cup of Starbucks, upgrade to the iPhone 5, vacation at Disney and finally get around to watching Moonrise Kingdom with my family. I will do these things because I always seem to connect with people – especially people I love – when I do. That is, after all, what I want my life to be about.
That’s my take. What’s yours?