When evil men plot, good men must plan. When evil men burn and bomb, good men must build and bind. When evil men shout ugly words of hatred, good men must commit themselves to the glories of love. Where evil men would seek to perpetuate an unjust status quo, good men must seek to bring into being a real order of justice. -Martin Luther King, Jr.
Friends, I know our hearts are heavy with the devastation we have witnessed in our country. Reading through Facebook is painful. A constant stream of anger, rage, violence, and hate fills the pages. There is a sprinkling of the promoting of awareness, waking up those living in a bubble, or the calming calming the masses and bringing peace.
But much of it seems to serve the mission of tearing down bridges and deepening the veins of hatred.
And it comes from both sides of these issues.
Are we oblivious to the effects of our words? To our tone? To the way we communicate with each other? Are we too wrapped into our own worlds and opinions to see that what we say and how we say it makes a difference?
I’m not an “important” someone with an important position or platform. I’m just a regular person like most of you.
I can’t profess to have all the answers. Nor can I claim to fully understand the depth and dimensionality to the problem eating away at our country.
But, as a wife. A mom. A daughter. A sister. A friend. I can tell you unrighteous anger, rage, violence, and hate is not the answer.
It can’t be. It is only giving satan pure joy as he wraps hate around our hearts. He rejoices as we kill each other both physically and emotionally.
It is sinking us deeper into the depths of sin. A depth that leaves no room for hope.
As I have watched the news and read the reports, I have been burdened with that very feeling. Hopelessness. Anyone else?
I know God has this in His control. Even this. He is bigger than anything the enemy can deal out. But in my day-to-day, what can I do? How can I, in my everyday world, make a difference? How can I breed hope in the midst of all this hate?
As I’ve tossed and turned at night, I came up with these ideas:
- Hold ourselves to the highest level of self-discipline possible. That means in our speech, our actions, and our emotions. Control them. Run them through the Jesus Filter. Do they line up with His Word? Do they line up with what He would do? If not, stop. Now. No excuses. No rantings on a social media platform. No ugly looks directed toward another nor verbal annihilations. God has grace for the times we slip, but we must hold ourselves to a higher standard.
- Teach our children how to speak and talk with respect to and about ALL others. Not dependent on age, social status, racial or sexual identity. Respect. We teach them by explaining, modeling, and expecting nothing less from them. We hold them accountable for their actions.
- Speak truth in love. Not truth with a disrespectful tone. Or truth based on our pride or personal agenda. If someone is mistreating another, we need to speak up. We need to defend. But we do it without rage, violence, or hate. We need to teach our children this, too.
- We pray. We pray as never before. We unite together without regard to lines of segregation. We are all children of God. In our hearts or in our minds we may have an opinion that leads us closer to one side or the other. But in prayer, that difference is put aside and we pray for healing. We pray for an end to violence. We pray for self-discipline as we work toward an even stronger country. We pray for God to put an end to the evil flourishing in our land. We pray for the forgiveness of all of us who have sinned in thought, word, and deed.
- Share the love of Christ with everyone in our world. From the bank clerk, to the landscaper, to the family in our home. Love well. Show kindness. Surprise them with a compliment or gift. Smile. And hug those you love a little closer than before.
- Remind ourselves and our children of our blessings each and every day. A thankful heart and thankful attitude fill our lives and the lives of others with hope. Hope for a better tomorrow.
Lord, we lift our country up to You right now. We ask You to step into this mess and heal all that is broken. Grab hold of our hearts, our actions, our thoughts and make them righteous before You. We repent of every thought, word, and deed that grieves Your heart. Lord, we pray for a uniting because together we can make change, but divided we cannot. May we think about our neighbors instead of being lost in the depths of our selfishness. Lord, You are a God of order, not a God of chaos. We ask that Your will be done. Your hope flourish. And Your peace reign here on Earth as it does in Heaven. In Your precious and holy name we pray. Amen.Is there hope in the hate?What can we do in our everyday lives to help? #hope #atimelikethis Click To Tweet
The words of hope left here last week encouraged my heart. Reading messages of hope help to keep our minds focusing on the right things. Ways to improve ourselves and see the world through lens of thankfulness. Your words have never been more needed! This week, Laura Rath of Journey in Faith shared a post about anger, our words, and empathy. She wrote that post before the recent events took place, but it is as though God gave her those words for such a time as this. Thank you, Laura, for the reminder to live with empathy. Be encouraged and reminded as you read her post. And would you give her some comment love while you are there?
And, just so you know …
I’m so glad you’re here. ♥
Quick important note: I am co-leading a small group online Bible Study of Suzanne Eller’s, Come With Me. It’s a powerful book that gives you cause to step into the life of Jesus as the 13th Disciple. This book will not leave you unchanged. The study is 6 weeks long starting on July 25th and the small group will be held through a private Facebook Group. I only have a few more open slots, but if you are interested, let me know in the comments or by email! I’d love for you to join me!!
What I ask of you:
1. Share only one URL (to a blog post, not the actual blog) that resonates with the topic of HOPE. Anything that gives us hope for tomorrow. Hope for victory. The little things and the big. Anything that inspires us to lean into Jesus and let Him carry us through.
2. Important: If you don’t have a blog post or podcast that resonates with HOPE, join in other ways as you pray and encourage others with a comment or a prayer.
3. Leave a comment on the link just before yours. Would you love on them well? Encourage them in their efforts to share the hope of Jesus. If you have time, stop by more than one sweet writer’s little corner of the blog world!
4. Of course, I would love it if you would follow me via my blog and/or social media channels! Signing up for my blog gets you fun freebies and post updates, plus I get to know you a little better!
5. If this gives you hope, would you consider sharing it with others to give them hope, too?
6. Please either grab my button or link back to me to encourage new linkers.