The other day, someone complimented me on my shoes, or a blouse or something of that nature (I forget) and I responded by saying, “Isn’t Target great?!” It wasn’t a thought out response, I wasn’t making political commentary, I was just praising the way Target has managed to offer great style in my price point. The lady, a sister in Christ, looked shocked and didn’t chat with me for the remainder of our time together. It could be that she just had nothing more to say, but I couldn’t help but notice that she had chatted a lot up until that point.
I loathe politics. I know they are an all-American classic (like gladiators in Rome), but I get so frustrated with the way they tend to make us break fellowship with one another. Who are you going to vote for? What type of school do you send your kids to? Which Christian church do you attend? Do they serve wine or grape juice and do the wafers taste good? Where do you shop and are you going to boycott them now because of this, that, or the other thing?
<insert total rabbit trail here> Are Hilary or Donald people you could stand before God and vouch for? If so, by all means, check that box. That is between you and God. If not, don’t. Write in someone you could vouch for knowing full well it won’t make a difference politically, but with God, what you do does matter.
<okay, I’m back on track now>
Convictions and beliefs are essential. We must have them and everyone thinks they are right, which is why they think what they think. But when we break fellowship — well, then sin enters the equation.
I live up the street from a Target. I am there at least once a week (they carry the full Method line of cleaning products, need I say more?), and I’ve been rubbed wrong by the boycotting frenzy. I boycotted Abercrombie and Fitch once and if the world were a black and white place (kind of like the giant photos of near nudes they use as decor in their stores) I would have been justified in doing so. The only thing that is truly black and white is what is right and wrong, but it isn’t that simple. Life is complicated, it isn’t a math problem. People are involved and so personhood is, too. We are all created in the image of God and are to be honored because of this. We aren’t allowed to harbor bitterness towards executives who only see the bottom line. We aren’t allowed to sneer at homosexuals or transexuals or even the opposite sex. And we certainly aren’t allowed to be rude to employees because of where they work.
The truth is, it doesn’t matter how right we are on paper, the greatest commandment wasn’t to fight for the moral high ground and force everyone to live by God’s (and ok, sometimes our own) standards or even fight for rights that God hasn’t given us.
And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.”
-Matthew 22:36-40 ESV
Let’s get really practical for just a moment. Think about Jesus (WWJD, anyone?), do you think that He would refuse to enter an establishment because they were wrong about something? Did he shy away from tax collectors, prostitutes, and sinners? Admittedly, he did blow up Sodom and Gomorrah, but that was before Jesus came to die for our sins, it was a completely different world then, just read Judges. But Jesus wouldn’t have hesitated to walk right through those glossy red doors and perhaps overpay a bit for something awesome. He’d cheerfully offer respect to everyone in that store. Remember that associates are our neighbors, so are transexuals. And by the way, those times they annoy us, they are more like family than neighbors, am I right? We are children of God, each of us. The difference is only that God lifts that veil from our eyes at different times in our lives.
What this whole boycotting Target argument boils down to is a very old question:
Are children responsible for the sins of a father?
Are employees responsible for what corporate does?
What do you think?
Before you respond, check out this article my husband showed me: Why I Won’t Boycott Target
PS: When I am going to shop at Target, I do try to go potty before I go. But if that doesn’t work out, I’m not afraid to use the bathroom. God is in control of everything, even who is in the next stall and I trust Him with that situation. Also, in Idaho we have great conceal carry laws and that is a game changer for mischief makers.