Hatred stirs up strife, but love covers all offenses.
We have been bombarded with “hate speech”. Our political leaders and news media seem to think they are free to speak with vileness and vindictiveness and expect that we should all just accept what they say as factually correct. We watch them and wonder what God must think.
Unfortunately, what they have modeled has trickled down into the general population and has pitted us against each other. We seem to be intolerant of someone who doesn’t think about the issues in the same way as we do, and uncaring that the words we choose might offend them. We may struggle to remain loving when we disagree, but if we don’t remain loving and instead engage in hate and hurtful speech, we are not reflecting God’s love. To change, we can start by honoring that another’s opinion is valid to them, and listen to them instead of shouting them down or dismissing them. And, when we feel hurt or offended, we can forgive the other and pray for them to feel God’s love.
Hateful speech hurts both the speaker and the listener. But God is an amazing God who designed us to benefit from demonstrating his love. Studies have found a correlation between one’s overall well-being and showing generosity and kindness to others. If we show love and kindness in speech toward each other, we will feel good inside. But when we speak unkindly, we feel angst that unsettles us. When we speak in a loving and kind way, a chemical is released in our brains that helps reduce stress and makes us feel more energetic. That’s not how we feel when we speak in anger.
God loves us. We need to thank him by thinking before we speak so that we spread that love.
Loving Father, we love you. Thank you for loving us. Remind us to always speak kindly and without hate. Please help us bring peace to our lives and to the world. Help us abolish hate by remembering your commandment to love one another just as you have loved us. Amen