Celebrant Will you strive for justice and peace among all people, and respect the
dignity of every human being?
People I will, with God’s help. (Episcopal Baptismal Vows)
Dignity: the quality or state of being worthy, honored, or esteemed (Webster)
One of the sad things about Facebook and Twitter is seeing firsthand the disrespect shown to people who hold differing opinions. This is especially painful when the person showing the disrespect is a friend or church member. I am not talking about disagreeing. I am talking about shaming, name-calling, questioning motives, and writing off people as idiots.
I will admit that it is difficult sometimes to find the image of Christ in some people. I strain looking for it and, I am sure, some strain to find it in me. But the truth is that each person has an inherent dignity and I promised at baptism (mine and those of others) to look for it.
But if we claim to follow (or even want to follow) Christ, we have to make that effort. That means we have to, on occasion, just keep our mouths shut. We have to try to see things from a different perspective. We have to question our own infallibility. We must remind ourselves that God steadfastly loves us even in our rebellions.
Ask yourself this day, “Who do I have the hardest time bestowing dignity upon and what am I going to do about it?”
Hatred stirs up conflict, but love covers over all wrongs. Proverbs 10:12 (NIV)
Do everything in love. 1 Corinthians 16:14 (NIV)