Love in the Midst of Hatred
Love in the Midst of Hatred
Categories: WEEKLY DEVOTIONALS
You wake up – it’s a beautiful day. The sun is shining, the birds are singing, and you finally got that much-needed rest. Everything is going well – until you turn on the news. Suddenly, the good feeling is gone, replaced by the painful surge of emotions that only the sin of the world can invoke. It can be tough to shake the heaviness and despair that seems to hang over you throughout the day. There is difficulty in knowing what to say- or even what to think in the face of turmoil.
We live in a corrupt world. There can be no doubt about that. Everywhere we look there are examples of anger, of hatred, of sin permeating the culture. People turning against each other. Political strife. Violence. Death. Even knowing that we have the hope of heaven, it can be hard to see the healing hand of God when there is so much despair, so much pain all around us. And yet it is in these times of confusion and chaos that we as Christians have the opportunity step up and be the hands and feet of God.
“Christ has no body now but yours. No hands, no feet on earth but yours. Yours are the eyes through which he looks compassion on this world. Yours are the feet with which he walks to do good. Yours are the hands through which he blesses all the world. Yours are the hands, yours are the feet, yours are the eyes, you are his body. Christ has no body now on earth but yours.” – St. Teresa
What do we do when there is nothing left to do? No more to say? We can love. With so much hatred everywhere, it is more important than ever to spread the love of Christ. 1 John 3:23 reminds us, “This is His commandment, that we believe in the name of His Son Jesus Christ, and love one another, just as He commanded us.” Believe in Jesus. Love one another. Jesus himself summed up the entirety of the Old Testament law in a similar fashion. When asked what the greatest commandment was, He had a concise response.
“And He said to him, “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the great and foremost commandment. The second is like it, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ On these two commandments depend the whole Law and the Prophets.” – Matthew 22:37-40
Love can counter fear.
Love can counter hate.
Love condemns sin without condemning the sinner.
Love is a powerful, powerful force in this world.
When the evil of the world threatens to knock you off your feet, there are a few things to remember:
- God loves you. He always has, and He always will. Nothing can change that.
- God heart is grieved by sin. While we can’t see His greater purpose, we can know that He hates it even more than we do.
- We can show the love of God through our words. Our actions. Our attitudes.
- Ultimately, the victory belongs to God. There will come a day when sin and darkness will be no more. Until then, we can cling to the knowledge that God loves and do our best to show that love to others.
The world is a broken place. It has been, ever since the fall of man. And it will be, until the return of Christ. But even among the despair and the hatred and the chaos, we can find peace knowing that God loves us and will never let us go.
Tim Clinton, Ed. D., LPC, LMFT (The College of William and Mary) is President of the nearly 50,000-member American Association of Christian Counselors (AACC), the largest and most diverse Christian counseling association in the world. He is Professor of Counseling and Pastoral Care, and Executive Director of the Center for Counseling and Family Studies at Liberty University. Licensed in Virginia as both a Professional Counselor and Marriage and Family Therapist, Tim now spends a majority of his time working with Christian leaders and professional athletes. He is recognized as a world leader in faith and mental health issues and has authored over 20 books including Breakthrough: When to Give In, When to Push Back. Most importantly, Tim has been married 36 years to his wife Julie and together they have two children, Megan, who is married to Ben Allison and is practicing medicine in dermatology, and Zach, who plays baseball at Liberty University. In his free time, you’ll find him outdoors or at a game with family and friends.