Let’s talk about hate.
There seems to be a lot of it swimming around lately. A few weeks ago, it showed up in a place I hoped it wouldn’t. This blog.
I recently wrote a post about pornography and my family’s stance against it where I stated we are fighters against this new drug. The hateful comments began to pour in and quite frankly, they were shocking. And painful. And discouraging.
The experience taught me a lot. Because sometimes when we take a stand against immorality, or in the name of our faith, or anything that people think crosses moral ground, it feels like the world will fight back. The voices of those who oppose you scream the loudest and cut the deepest — but it doesn’t make them right.
As I felt discouraged and actually said out loud “I’ll never blog again,” God healed my heart and taught me about something far more important: Love.
Here are three things I learned about love in the most unlikely of places.
- Everyone is a child of God. The Internet is just the worst sometimes, right? It’s so easy to feel like we aren’t speaking to other human beings with thoughts, feelings, beliefs and families. Social media can easily distort one of the most basic, eternal truths of our Heavenly Father — we are all his children. It’s easy to instead view others as objects, thinking the anger and frustration we vent onto the web stops at the edge of our screen. We have to remember that people, children of God, are on the other side. One of the ways that helps me when I’m frustrated is to use their name in a comment. Immediately, it helps humanize the dialogue and it helps me feel more love for people who are different. Let’s all be kind.
- Goodness is never stupid. I felt pretty dumb after sharing my last blog. I had gotten some very kind response, but also a lot of negative. People twisted my words and manipulated my message. And it left me feeling confused. I was just sharing my opinion, I thought. Why do so many people hate that? The answer I got was an unexpected one: it doesn’t matter. What does matter is sharing goodness. There will always be the haters of the world. So stand strong in your belief. If you feel like you should share, share. And when opposition comes, stand strong in the face of adversity and know in whom you have placed your trust. Christ will reign triumphant in the end and I choose to stand with him from now until then.
- God is with us. As I reflected on this blogging experience, a favorite scripture from 2 Kings kept coming to my mind. It’s a time of war. Elisha’s servant comes to warn him that Israel is outnumbered. Syria has surrounded the city with horses and chariots, ready to attack. “How shall we do?” the servant asks. And Elisha teaches a great lesson that was my saving grace these last few weeks. “Fear not: for they that be with us are more than they that be with them.” Then, Elisha prays that the servant’s eyes will be opened. And his vision has brought me to tears on more than one occasion.
They that are with us are far more than they that are against us. The next time you stand up for goodness and are shot down, mocked or hated, remember Elisha. Remember that there are concourses of chariots of fire on your side. I have never stood alone a day in my life because I have tried to stand with God. Opposition will come. It will. Face it with an army of goodness behind you. Face it with faith rooted in Jesus Christ.
PHOTOS: Special thanks to Visual Impulse, a visual marketing company based in North Mesa. Check out their amazing work.