If you have kept up with the news lately, you may have heard of the recent sticky controversy between Chick-fil-a and same-sex marriage advocates. During this time, many boycotted the company while others munched on chicken as a statement of their support. What was lost amidst the chaos of the controversy was that standing your ground and sticking to your beliefs does not mean standing in opposition against others. In the recently published article by Shane l. Windmeyer, we learn that as Dan Cathy, president and COO of the company, reached out to him, two worlds came together not to “abandon their own, but to expand it.”
I know many of you are reading this with preconceived notions of the famous chicken sandwich and all that comes to mind when spoken of it, but I’m asking that for a moment, you will put all biased opinions aside.
I have never met Dan Cathy and have never heard his theological views. However, I can tell you that his recent actions towards a man no one would have expected him to reach out to, demonstrate his understanding of the gospel and a true desire to live it out. His controversial actions were unexpected, and were very much appreciated by Shane. I think there is a lot to be learned from Mr. Cathy. He sought to understand Shane before attempting to be understood, demonstrating compassion and love. After learning that the company’s actions had impacted many negatively, he offered a sincere apology; not a change of views, but a way of demonstrating deep love for his neighbor. I love that. I love it because this shocking relationship is a reflection of what Christ came to do. He stepped down, humbled himself, and became friends with those who the Pharisees looked down on. He loved on the least lovable, forgave the least forgivable and healed those who were too sick to be healed. He turned everything upside down. Love came down and grace was poured out on the undeserving– us!!
He shared meals with sinners and imputed His righteousness on us. When God looks at us he doesn’t see all our junk! Praise Him for that!! He loves us despite us and saves us by His loving grace and mercy. Shouldn’t we do the same? Shouldn’t we demonstrate that grace towards others despite their beliefs? Loving on others does not take our salvation from us any more than hanging around “church goers” add to our salvation. We can get so caught up on what others may think if we hang around someone who has opposing views as us. We are so easy to judge, so easy to look down on others, and so quick to forget that it was our sin that held Christ on the Cross. So quickly do we forget who we are in the gospel story: not the Savior but the one in need of one. When we realize how messed up and horrible we are, we can admire the grace of Christ even more! This admiration produces love for God and in return, love for others. A love for others regardless of how different our views are, the color of our skin, or the money in our wallet. We can begin sharing meals with them, whether chicken or not, and showing them love because God loved them first.
Let the love of Christ rule in your hearts as you extend the grace that was given to you!
(Again, find Shane’s article here.)