“Everyone lies to their neighbor; they flatter with their lips but harbor deception in their hearts. May the Lord silence all flattering lips and every boastful tongue-those who say, “By our tongues we will prevail; our own lips will defend us-who is lord over us?” Psalm 12:2-4
My writing these last couple of years has gone from a stream to a trickle. It’s been a tough couple of years, but I want to get back to the blog I so enjoyed writing over the years. Today in the news there was another terrorist attack in the world, it happened in London. 4 people were killed including the knife wielding mad man who was the cause of all the mayhem. There is a culture of hate in this world. I guess it’s always been there, but never before as much as now. This culture of hate is on three levels, personal, community, and world stage. It all starts with personal and spreads to community and then to the world. How you can make a significant impact in the world is how you conduct yourself, how do you respond to the negative that is all around us? In reading Psalm 12, I am reminded that not all thoughts are good, but when you take those thoughts and bring them to the tongue that is where issues begin. The three verses mentioned above is hate on another level. There is hate that is disguised as helpful, but in the end, it becomes something evil. A con job, a dishonest stance is both of these types of hate that can be disguised as good speech. A good con artist will lead you down a path you don’t want to go and it will be a destructive path. A dishonest stance is saying something positive to their face, but behind their back saying something different. To me both are destructive, but the latter is plain evil. In fact, I would rather be faced with direct hate than hidden vitriol. Community hate as an example is public “protests” against something or someone. A protest is an expression or declaration of objection, disapproval, or dissent, often in opposition to something a person is powerless to prevent or avoid. Definition provided by Dictionary.com. Nowhere in the definition does it say anything about hate speech or expletives and violence. You can really protest without being hateful or destructive. Hate is seen on the world stage as war, terrorism, religion, and politics. Yes, religion is on the list. If we force rules down people’s throat, and expect them to behave the same as us “strong Christians,” then that is not love, especially if we shun and shame them. The back of the hand is not as strong as open arms.
How can we affect change in this culture of hate? It starts with our attitude. A positive attitude is like a light in a dark room. The darkness flees from light and opens our eyes to see where we are. You’ve seen it before, someone can be described as “lighting up a room,” that person has a positive attitude. They are human and they don’t always have this way about them, and it takes work to keep that attitude. Reading God’s word and spending time in prayer with God will lead you to this positive attitude when you start the day with God. This will help you with the self-control needed to not allow things to stress you out and make you a bitter person.
The next thing we do after we make God first for a positive attitude is to completely surrender to God. Absolute surrender is using that scripture in John 15:5 that says “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.” See prosperity depends on your personal perspective. If you like you on the throne of your life then you have a messed-up perspective. God being on the thrown is so important to keep that positive attitude.
The last thing is to love unconditionally. This was seen effectively the best when Jesus went to the cross. Love is the acronym to hate. Hate destroys and damages things, love builds and brings things and people together. Love is the glue of relationships. To change this culture of hate, it all begins with you. Having a positive attitude, surrendering to God, (not your will) and loving people with an unconditional love. If you can change your part of the world, you can the rest of the world, one person can and will make a difference, Jesus did.
© [David Howard], [David’s Body Temple] 2017