Valentines Day has passed where I am and I find myself a bit sad. We have a day dedicated to love but what happens when it’s over? It looks like life goes back to normal and that makes me sad. I realize that the love on Valentines Day is focused on romantic love but let’s take the romance out of it. I’m sad that a day after Valentine’s Day, we go back to the hate or apathy.
The world we live in today spreads messages of hate blatantly and subtly. We aren’t born hating; we learn it. I am concerned that when I read about our potential future presidents spreading a rhetoric of hate. I am concerned when I read about how popular these messages are and how divided the United States is becoming. I am sad when I hear people spread fear and hate regarding race, gender, sexual preference, religious beliefs, socioeconomic backgrounds, and jobs (law enforcement). I’m said reading about all the deaths that are occurring because of these things.
The Bible calls us to love. We aren’t just called to love people who agree with us or look like us or, or, or. We’re called to love everyone. We aren’t to respond to hate with hate but with love. We are called to pray for those who hurt us.
Jesus said: “But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.” – Matthew 5:44
I am sad that we have a day to celebrate love but this isn’t the message we’re hearing or spreading regularly. We have political candidates so thirsty for power that it is considered normal to insult and ridicule other candidates as talking points. This isn’t about the political parties but is making the point that hate has become our rhetoric and has divided our country.
I was talking with a friend the other day about this. We have completely different political views but I love and appreciate hearing her perspective. It doesn’t offend me that she has a different perspective or that she completely disagrees with me on so many issues. I respect her for her views, but this isn’t as common anymore. I see more and more FaceBook posts and hear about friendships ending because they disagreed with them.
I don’t want to surround myself with people who always agree with me. I like hearing different perspectives and just because someone doesn’t agree with me doesn’t mean that we can’t be friends. It doesn’t mean I’m right and they’re wrong; it means that we have different experiences that lead us to look at something differently.
We’re becoming intolerant of anyone who is different from us while preaching tolerance. Hate is a message that is spreading more and more. We wonder about the increase in violence but this shouldn’t be surprising when hate is what is being taught. We can change that.
We can choose love over hate. We can refuse to spread the hateful rhetoric or the article but instead pray for our nation/the issues. We can teach children to look past the surface and look to character instead.
I’m challenging you to pick love and not to engage or share the hateful messages. What do you think about what’s happening? Do you agree that the message of hate is being spread or is it just more media coverage? I’d love to hear from you.