Luke 6:27 But to you who are willing to listen, I say, love your enemies! Do good to those who hate you.
These days it seem as though violence is all around us. If you do not believe me just turn on your evening news. War, rape, and murder is always the topic. It’s enough for someone to never want to leave their house.
Per the FBI Crime Report in 2010 there were 1,246,248 violent crimes in the United States. 14,748 were murder. That is a lot of people lives violently taken. And for what reason? Does anyone deserve to die a violent death?
Murder is the extreme end of hate, but hate is the root of violence. Honestly its hard to admit, but it is easy to hate. Or at least show hate to others. Maybe you do not like the color of someones skin or the way they live there lives. You may not say anything out loud to them about it but in your heart hate stirs.
Picture the moment when someone cuts you off on the highway and you scream at them in anger. Next thing you know you want to get beside them and give them a piece of your mind. We call this road rage but that is just another term for hate. Hate maybe short-lived at times but its hate none the less. Maybe someone has betrayed you and or received something you felt was rightfully yours. You feel anger that eventually grows to hate.
The problem with hate is it can consume us like a wild-fire. It grows fast and burns everything in all directions. Leaving nothing but destruction and loss. Nobody benefits from hate in their lives and mostly the people we care about are effected the most. Lets be real for a moment. In recent history we have seen some extreme examples of hate. Everything from the Oklahoma City bombing, school shootings such as Columbine and Virginia Tech, the attacks on September 11,2001, and the people who have been killed over a hate based movie around the world. Hate breeds death and death breeds more death, just like a wild-fire.
How do we counter act a world that shows so much hate? The answer is Love. Love and hate can not co-exist in any way or form. I love how John Mark McMillan describes love in his famous song “How He Loves”. He describes love as a hurricane. A hurricane is the way we describe the strongest fastest winds on earth. If hate is like a fire then if you blow just a little bit on a fire it can make the fire bigger. But if the wind is strong enough, like a hurricane, that it blows out the fire. If you have ever been apart of a hurricane then you will agree they are very loud. A loud wind gives no room for fire to feed. Just like love give no room for hate to breed.
I am not talking about a love that is pretty and perfect looking. Not a movie kind of mushy love; but a love that is able to get messy and dirty. Love louder than the hate that burns within us and the world around us. A loud love sometimes can mean standing up to hate within your family. Or forgiving someone who has wronged you. Show love and exceptence to others that do not live or look like you. The louder your love it becomes impossible for people to ignore it. Change must come from a loud love. Louder the love the quieter the hate.
Matthew 5:43-44 “You have heard the law that says, ‘Love your neighbor’ and hate your enemy. But I say, love your enemies! Pray for those who persecute you! Jesus came to this world as a man to love louder than anyone. No man or women in all history could love louder than Jesus. He came to this world to be persecuted beaten and die for us so that we might live with Him for eternity. He was beaten and abused by the Roman solders over and over. He was spit on and cursed out by the very people he was willing to die for. He carried a cross on a hill and let them drive nails into his hands and feet. Left to hang on this cross for all to see and being abandoned by his closest friends. All the time knowing that he did nothing wrong; but instead it is what we did wrong for why he had to die. This is loving loudly like a hurricane!
Jesus died for the 1,246,248 victims of the violent crimes committed in 2010. He also died for the 1,246,248 people who committed those crimes. How do we love loudly like Jesus?
- Scream your love: Be bold with how you show love to others. Give more than you think you can give to those who need it most. Have an in your face love that others feel like your screaming at them. When you scream people know you mean it. Your love should be evident to everyone that no one can question your motives.
- Dedicate you love: It’s so easy to hate and it takes more than emotion to carry you through. You have to practice and discipline this kind of love. Surround yourself with others wanting to live a life of love also.
- Dirty Love: Love may not always be convenient or look good to others. Your reputation may come into question. You may look like a wimp or have to love someone that will never love you back. You may need to love someone that is not socially in your network. Love dirty anyway.
Maybe you have been hurt by hate and love has not found you. I want you to know that their is someone out there that loves you for who you are just the way you are. He loves you where you are at and excepts you no matter what. He understands the hate that you have experienced. John 15:8 If the world hates you, remember that it hated me first. His name is Jesus and desires a relationship with you were he can show you love and in turn show you how to love yourself.
We can change the world with love and even when it seems as though there is no hope. We need to know that we can give hope with love a loud love that our world can not ignore. I want to leave you with a insert from “Jesus for President” by Shane Claiborne and Chis Haw.
“So even as we see the horror of death, may we be reminded that in the end, love wins. Mercy triumphs. Life is more powerful than death. And even those who have committed great violence can have the image of God come to life again within them as they hear the whisper of love. May the whisper of love grow louder than the thunder of violence. May we love Loudly”.
How loud is your love?