Choose love over hate
By: Dr. Linda Mintle
“Love is the only force capable of transforming an enemy into a friend.” Martin Luther King, Jr.
The election is over and a new President has been installed. Is love governing your actions and speech?
We have a choice when it comes to our reactions to things we don’t like or go our way. While I can’t control the press, celebrities and others who will choose to be hateful and critical, I can control my mouth. I look to the Bible for guidance.
“May these words of my mouth and this meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, LORD, my Rock and my Redeemer.” Psalm 19:14
Pause and mediate on this verse. Now, think about what you have said in your day-to-day conversations with friends and family. Have your words met the standard of Psalm 19:14?
The way we talk about this election and new President is important because it expresses what is in our hearts. 1 Peter 2:12 tells us,
“Keep your conduct honorable.”
Honorable conduct includes the words we say. Those words should not include name-calling, gloating, elitism, fear-mongering, hate, lying and disgust. Instead, we are to guard our hearts and mouths because words are powerful–as we saw during the election cycle. Let’s not be guilty of behaving in the ways we found disturbing. Let’s resist the urge to retaliate against those who are mean-spirited. Matthew 5:44 tells us to bless those who curse us and pray for those who despitefully use us. Ultimately, we are to love our enemies. This is only possible with a transformed heart.
James 3 tells us that we can praise our Lord and Father, but also curse our brothers and sisters who have been made in God’s likeness. The tongue is a fire, capable of consuming others. It must be tamed by the Holy Spirit in us. So, before we speak, let’s check our words and ask the Lord to help us bless others rather than curse them.
Now is the time to model love, humility, and civility towards one another–whether you liked or hated the outcome of this election. Haven’t we had enough verbal attacks and negative messaging? Have we forgotten that mercy triumphs over judgment?
We, the people, can behave differently. If we want to be great again, let’s start by controlling our tongue and actually treat each other with respect.
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