It hurts. The world just hurts right now. Last week, I wrote about the coronavirus, not having any idea that America was going to enter into another heartache. On May 25th, 2020, a man who was black died in the hands of a man who happened to be a police officer. I’m sure most of you all know the story because if you live in America you’re experiencing all of this firsthand. You see your neighbors divided. You see fights for justice. You are most likely experiencing the hurt that I’m experiencing.
If I’m being honest, I didn’t want to write about this. I tried to think of literally any other subject to write about BUT this, and God still made it clear that this is what I needed to talk about. You see, this has been a subject matter that has been hard on my heart. It has been something that has been eating me up for the past week. My family knows this because we have had many good conversations about all that is going on in the world right now. God knows this because God knows my heart and my thoughts. God also knows that I’m not the only one hurting.
As I scroll through social media, I see people arguing and fighting. In my lifetime, I have seen much divide but not like I’m seeing currently. Close friends are divided. Even families are divided. People have different ways of achieving justice. Some people believe that protesting and rioting is the answer to an injustice of racial inequality. Others don’t see this as an issue of race but just as an issue of a man who unrightfully had his life taken away by someone who has made some bad decisions. Some people are angry at police officers while others believe that many police officers are being mistreated. I’m not here to say that I believe this way or that way, but to address the hurt that this divide is having on our country. This is going to sound harsh, but the reason for this divide is hate. Our social media is full of hate right now. I sit on social media for way too long scrolling through only to see all of the hate and arguments. Hate divides while only love can unify us.
To be honest, I didn’t even know where to go from here. I’ve seen all this divide among people, but I myself haven’t known how to approach it. I decided to ask my boyfriend, who always seems to have the greatest insight, where I should go with this. JD responded almost immediately by telling me to ask the question of, what would Jesus do if He were here? What would Jesus do? Do you think He would encourage this ongoing hate, or would He find a way to love all people, despite what’s going on? Jesus would choose to love. Jesus chooses love. Jesus doesn’t care what you believe, He still loves you any way. This may be hard for some to take in, but Jesus loves even Derek Chauvin, the man who killed George Floyd. You know why? It’s because His love knows no limits.
I believe the greatest love story ever known to humankind is the story of Jesus. Jesus gave up His life for all, even the ones who hated Him because He LOVED them. Jesus was hated by the Romans so much so that they ordered Jesus to die on the cross. However, Jesus didn’t hate them because of the hate that they placed on Him. Instead, Jesus showed compassion and love to them by giving His whole life up on the cross so that everyone, even the Romans, had the opportunity of eternal life. Now that is some good news. But when asking this question of what would Jesus do, we are also asking the question of what we should do. Jesus is an example for us to live by, and Jesus chose love. Jesus chose love even to people that were terrible to him, so we need to start doing the same.
Hate is what evil wants, so evil feels like it has the upper hand. Evil tries to break us apart, and that is exactly what it is achieving. We’re letting anger build up within us towards each other instead of giving one another grace. God gives us grace, and we should pass this gift along to all people, not just accept it for ourselves. Start giving other people the gift of grace and of love that God gives to you. Most importantly, don’t forget God during this time. Through this storm, trust in God. Don’t give into all of the hate. Be the person who, instead of giving into the hate, loves all, even those who choose hate during this time. You have a choice. You can choose hate or love. I’ll admit it’s been a struggle for me to choose love, especially during this time, but it’s important for us to recognize what we are choosing and make adjustments. Use the gifts of grace and love that God gives you. Hate will only divide.
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. – 1 Corinthians 13:4-7