As I see the red and blue lights behind me and pull over to the side of the road, I think about that officers day. All the turmoil and prejudice in our country. The officer begins walking up to my window and I roll my window down. He says do you know why I pulled you over. I look at him and can tell he is tired. The only words that make sense come out of my mouth, “Thank you for all that you do.” He looks at me confused that’s not what he was expecting.
1 John 4:11 Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.
There is a very common theme in the New Testament of love and compassion. We are told repeatedly to love one another and to follow in Jesus footsteps. In middle school the phrase WWJD (What Would Jesus Do) was very popular. Yet there are people dominating the news with hate and discrimination.
1 Corinthians 13 1 If I speak in the tongues[a] of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. 2 If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. 3 If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast,[b] but do not have love, I gain nothing.4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
My son is upset crying and mad saying that he hates me. I wouldn’t let him have chocolate for dinner and now I have a toddler who thinks it’s the end of the world. I could resort to punishment. I could put him in timeout or spank him. That’s not what I choose to do. Those words “mommy I hate you.” Resonate in my head and I pick him up. I hug him and I tell him that I love him. I go on to tell him that the reason he can’t have chocolate is because I want him to be healthy and strong. I tell him that I love him so much that even if he really did hate me I have enough love for the both of us.
Think about it from the other side. How difficult it is to hate someone who tells you thank you and that you are doing a great job. How hard is it to hate someone who is telling you they love you. Love is more powerful than hate. It is more useful.
1 Peter 4:8 Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins
The person who hates another person only destroys themselves. Hate is the most destructive emotion of them all. It has a nasty habit of infecting people’s lives. Enveloping every peice of their souls. Yet a simple act of love can change the course of hate.
1 Corinthians 13:13 Now these three things remain, faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.
All these race wars and government lies are breeding hate and dividing not just our once great country, but the entire world. It can be stopped. You can do your part. Spread the love. When someone is frustrated in line at the grocery store you can ask if they need anything. Tell them you are here for them and ask if they need a hug. The person yelling racial slurs, you can love them too. Tell them they are loved despite their hate. Do not fuel the hate. It is not easy but nothing worth it is easy.
“The ultimate weakness of violence is that it is a descending spiral, begetting the very thing it seeks to destroy. Instead of diminishing evil, it multiplies it.Through violence you may murder the liar, but you cannot murder the lie, nor establish the truth. Through violence you may murder the hater, but you do not murder hate. In fact, violence merely increases hate. So it goes. Returning violence for violence multiplies violence, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars. Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.”
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.