If you know me at all, you know that I love Harry Styles. I love his music, his fashion, but most of all, I love his personality and his brand. You may be wondering, “Alyssa, he’s a celebrity. You don’t know him. He doesn’t know you. How do you know what he’s like?” You’re right, I don’t know him personally, but I think he uses his platform and brand to teach an important lesson that we all seem to forget too much: treat people with kindness.
It’s such a simple message, yet we make it so hard to listen to. We live in a seemingly polarizing time where every issue has two sides with people yelling at each other to the point where the ideas get lost in the sea of voices. People are wrapped up in the logistics and technicalities of everything that we seem to have lost the main message we should all strive for – just being a decent human to each other.
Not too long ago, I was scrolling on TikTok, as many do, and came across a video of a girl describing a story in which she had been hurt by the church. I briefly looked at the comments and the top one, with thousands of likes, said, “There’s no hate like Christian love.” If you’re a Christian, this should break your heart as much as it broke mine, but it should also make you question the methods of this so-called Christian love.
I would argue that Christianity has lost its way of love and turned into a courtroom where we debate and argue what’s right and wrong. We’ve spent so much time and energy arguing over who’s right and who we can allow in the church that we forget the most important message of Christianity: love. It’s the whole point of Jesus’ ministry, and he makes that evident in Matthew 22 when he gives us what is known as the greatest commandment. The command does not tell us to exclude or judge, but rather to love God and love our neighbor. I think that’s the ultimate message of the gospel, and we can’t accomplish this in such a divided and hateful state. I think the fact that Christian love is often equated with hate is an indication enough about how well we are living out this command.
So, why bring up Harry Styles? What does the Bible have to do with a 27-year-old British man that dances around on a stage and sings about fruit? I think they are saying the same message in slightly different words. We need to stop complicating Christianity and simply treat people with kindness, and we can’t pick and choose when we do so. We can’t apply this only to the people where it’s convenient or easy. When I say treat people with kindness, I mean all people, even when it’s hard. Treat people of differing opinions with kindness. Treat LGBTQ+ people with kindness. Treat immigrants and refugees with kindness. Treat people of other races and ethnicities with kindness. Treat people of other religions with kindness. Treat every single person with kindness.
Maybe you like Harry Styles, maybe you don’t. However, I think we can all agree that his message of treating people with kindness is one that we can get behind. When we live into this, we can help make the world just a little more loving and accepting. So, whether you’re dancing alone in your room to his song or living it out in your interactions with your neighbors, we should all listen to Harry Styles when he says, “treat people with kindness.”