I believe I am flawed. I believe I am a hypocrite. But I also believe God extended grace towards me, and therefore I am called to extend limitless grace and forgiveness towards others. What right do I have to judge and condemn when I myself have fallen short? I love people because I believe God loves them, and calls me to do the same. My devotion to God directs my day-to-day actions. I am called to love the traditionally unlovable: the jerks, the hypocrites, the egotistical and the promiscuous. This is usually easier said than done, especially in high school. Many situations challenge my ability and will to love others on a daily basis: Am I supposed to extend love to terrorists who threaten my way of life? What about those who spread false rumors about me? Or those who lie to me? In these moments of questions, a small voice whispers, “Yes, even them.” There is very little within my selfish, unkind human nature that naturally seeks to love others as God loves me and I frequently catch myself thinking I am somehow better than those terrorists, those gossipers, and those liars. Yet then again, I realize I am not unlike any of these people. Like the terrorists, I have sought to force my ideas on others. Like the gossipers, I have spread rumors and exaggerated stories. And like the liars, I have purposely deceived others. These realizations humble me, level the playing ground, and allow me to truly love those around me. When I understand I am no better than anyone else, it is easy for me to serve others and put them before myself.
My belief that people are more important than anything encompasses how I see the world and how I make decisions. Politically, I choose stances on issues that put people before products or numbers and choose candidates who support policies that value and protect human life. Socially, I volunteer to help the elderly, the sick, and the lonely because God has blessed me. I truly believe “to whom much is given, much is required.” I have been richly blessed in so many ways. I live in a lovely neighborhood, I attend an awesome high school, I have a loving family, and I am surrounded by supportive friends. Recently I chose to sponsor a child through Compassion International to give back a little of what I have received. For a little money each month, I can help feed, clothe, and educate my six-year-old Kenyan friend, Ian. Every couple of months, we exchange letters, and there is nothing more beautiful than those letters he writes me. Even thinking of him now brings a smile to my face and tears to my eyes because his childlike faith and unabashed gratitude continually confirms my belief that God is good. In all the dirt and grime that fills the world, little things in my life continually remind me God rewards those who are faithful to Him.
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