"Hatred stirs up conflicts, but love covers all offenses." (Proverbs 10:12 CSB)
Why do we make loving others so complicated?
We are supposed to love others as we have been loved.
Treat others as we want to be treated.
Love God with all our heart, mind, strength and soul and love our neighbor as ourselves.
But we don't. Instead, we spread our frustrations and fears and worries and hatred of those who do not live as we believe they should.
I am sure the answer is complicated, but here are some musings to reflect and consider.
I believe we've forgotten to love God first. To seek Him and know Him and learn from Him how to love. We try to love in our own understanding and strength, inserting our judgement and perception. We forget to first seek the understanding and perspective of God who grants the wisdom and strength and ability to love no matter what.
To love when there's anger.
To love when there's hurt.
To love when there's brokenness.
To love when there's disappointment, loss, differences, pain, heartache, shame, regret, fear, worry or doubt.
In any circumstance we can choose to seek God's perspective, strength, wisdom and ability, and choose to love-- encourage, support, provide, remind and refocus on the truth-- no matter how hard or uncomfortable it is for us.
Because that's what Jesus does for us in every circumstance of our own lives.
The alternative is hatred.
We cannot love people and hate them at the same time.
There is a war going on all around us. In the end love WILL win. We must choose which side of the war we are on.
Are we on the side that chooses to love God and others, opening the door to living an adventurous, beautiful, full life?
Or, will we continue to spread hate and live a futile life of limitation in our bitterness, stirring up conflict.
Neither choice is easy, but our choice matters.
To consider: Where are the battles in your own life?
What would it look like to fight them with love instead of worry, fear, anger, hatred, rage and bitterness.
Father, please help us to partner with you in loving others like Jesus loves us. Help us to remember our calling: to love You and love one another as we have been loved. Give us your perspective in the situations we face in our lives and our culture that are drawing us into hatred and bitterness. Free us from worry and fear, anger and rage, bitterness and doubt and give us the strength we need to love. Amen.