Wednesday, August 16, 2017

The Answer to Hate

Over the past week, I've had time to think about the events in Charlottesville and the current status of our society. A lot of fingers get pointed.  We see a lot of posts about love and acceptance and standing up for the marginalized. That's all great, but we sometimes fail to see the answer right in front of our faces. We've failed to understand the true definition of love and fail miserably when we try to label hate. I'm not an innocent party in all of this. I've missed the mark so many times. However, if we all tried a little harder and dug a little deeper, we could make a difference. Let me take a second to share exactly what I'm certain we need to do to combat hate.

1 Corinthians 13:4-8

"Love is patient..." Love might be patient, but are you? Slow traffic. Long lines. Just a couple of things that seem to test our patience. The other day I watched a car speed past a slower moving car and cut them off. Both drivers held up "that finger" at the other. Yeah...that pretty much sums up the times we're living in. If you truly want to display love (and inspire others to do the same), be patient. Show grace.

"...love is kind." Pretty self-explanatory there. Love holds the door for the person following. Love lends a smile. Love responds in kindness even when faced with the opposite. Do you?

"It does not envy..." The grass always seems so much greener on the other side. Stop looking at how the neighbor's grass looks and start watering yours! And for goodness sake, stop throwing sand in your neighbor's yard out of your jealousy! Trying to sabotage someone else's success to make you feel better is hate and things like that are done out of envy.  Start focusing on what YOU have and less on what everyone else does.

"It does not boast, it is not proud." And once you have that nice, green grass, stop rubbing it in the noses of the people around you. It's one thing to be excited about the highs in your life, it's another thing to gloat and showboat. Think about it this way...if you boast, you'll likely make someone envy. And these days, that can get sand thrown your direction. It's like telling a homeowner not to leave the box for their big screen TV at the curb for the trashman...you're just inviting someone to come in and try to steal your new TV!

"It does not dishonor others..." That's right...love honors the other person ABOVE YOURSELF! Regardless of what a person looks like, believes or does...love gives honor. These days, if we disagree with someone, we would never think to give them the best seat at the table. But love does. You want to stop hate? Start showing some respect to EVERYONE regardless of if you see eye to eye or not.

"...it is not self-seeking." Love doesn't say, "Because I'm in a hurry, I'm going to disregard everyone else and do what I need to do for my own benefit and comfort." No, love actually cares about the needs and desires of others. Do you? Have you allowed your own agenda to get in the way of truly loving those around you?

"It is not easily angered..." Love doesn't get all twisted up if you look at it wrong. Nope, it just keeps on being love. It keeps on being good. Do you?

"...it keeps no record of wrongs." Things that happened in the past? Yeah...love doesn't hold that against you. Love forgets all that mess and moves forward as if those wrongs don't exist. It doesn't make you pay. It doesn't leave the wrong-doer in debt. Nope, it writes that debt off and keeps on loving.

"Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth." I think we can all agree that lies are evil. Lies that tells us we're not good enough. Lies that tells us we're less than. Well, love calls those things evil and embraces the truth. And love certainly does not cover up the truth in lies.

"It always protects..." When love sees someone being mistreated, it steps in. Love provides safe arms. Do you?

"...always trusts..." Love doesn't give a side eye to someone who looks different. Love doesn't suddenly get all scared that what looks different will bring harm.  Love chooses to trust and if an outside force breaks that trust, love gets up and dusts itself off. Do you?

"...always hopes..." Chalking all the hate up to "It'll never change! It'll only get worse!" doesn't seem so hopeful. Choose to see the potential we all have together. That's what love does.

"...always perseveres..." Love keeps trying even when it seems like it's not getting the results it hopes for.

"Love never fails." That's why we're failing...because we aren't truly loving. But if we start to truly love, I think we'll find it doesn't fail.

And that leads us to the bottom line of all of this. Our world needs Christ...the ultimate example and embodiment of love. He is all of the above and we should make it our aim and goal to look like a mirror image of Him.

That's the answer. It's not some complicated algorithm. Love doesn't have to say, "I'm not a racist." Love doesn't have to say, "I don't hate that person." In fact, love is pretty evident. So stop defending yourself with words and start living out love. It's a verb. It's an action. And it's also a choice. Today, I choose to be the best example of love I can be to every human I come in contact with. Do you?

8 comments :

  1. Wonderful post, even though I had to skip all the bible quotes :-) I agree with your saying, "love doesn't have to say, "I'm not racist."" I believe that no one is racist when they're born. It's about the way they're raised, about the family's impact & impact of the surroundings. Most of my relatives are quite racist, in their own way and it's hard to be reminding them to think about what they say before they open their mouths. It's exhausting, to be honest.

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    1. Thanks for sticking it out! ;) I can say that some professing Christians have done a poor job at practicing what they preach. I don't want to be one of those. Shared faith or not, the shared value is most certainly the same: love.

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  2. Hi, I'm not a religious person but enjoyed reading your post. I think many of us should pay attention to your last sentence and put this into practice.

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    1. Thanks so much! Religion or not, our society has lost all care and concern for humanity. It's time we unify for that common goal despite how very different everyone may be. I think we've decided if we disagree with someone about something, we can never agree with them about anything. Not true. We all have more in common than what we even understand. Lol.

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  3. Amazing quotes, it was so inspiring to read this :) We are failing because we aren´t truly loving...love this!

    Ally,
    www.inspo-book.blogspot.com

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  4. I skipped the Bible part but I agree with the intention here. Love is beyond race, color & Creed.

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  5. Love doesn't have to say, "I'm not a racist."
    Mic drop moment right there.
    Katja xxx
    www.katnapped.com

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