Love Thy Neighbor: As Easter approaches, CHS students should not allow religion to prevent friendships, create stereotypes

We live today in a society dominated by a merit-based work philosophy. I’m surrounded daily by people who seem to believe that only through their power and their will can they succeed in life; however, for me, when surrounded by this philosophy, I feel the exact opposite. In the past, whenever I have used my power to succeed in life, I just ended up feeling broken. It seemed the more I tried to rely on myself, the more helpless I realized I was. The more I tried to put faith in myself, the more I lost faith in myself.

Many people think that Christians believe they are good people. The thing is we don’t think we are good enough. We believe we cannot reach heaven through merit alone. We may preach rules that we should follow, but we realize we can never fully follow all the rules that have been set. We know we can’t uphold everything we believe. That’s why we need God. We believe the standard for “good” is perfection, and it’s a standard we can never reach by ourselves no matter how hard we try. Because of this, we need to put our faith in someone. We need God to be able to reach that standard through his power.

When discrediting the church, many people argue that the church can seem hypocritical. We consistently fail to do what we preach. While advocating to love everyone, for example, it seems many Christians actively hate people of conflicting beliefs such as Muslims or homosexuals. The truth is the church has its share of hypocrites. Everyone, at least once, has fallen away from and broken the rules that we so vehemently believe; however, this hypocrisy is the very reason why we need God. We have done so much wrong that we can never fix it by ourselves.

But being a Christian does not stop us from talking to those who are not. While I may have conflicting beliefs with someone, that does not automatically make me dislike the person. As a Christian, we are called to love everyone, not just other Christians.

The views in this column do not necessarily reflect the views of the HiLite staff. Reach Raphael Li at rli@hilite.org.

To see Feature Editor Heidi Peng’s perspective on this issue, click here. To see a graphic perspective on this issue, click here.

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