Spread Love, Not Hate

Spread Love, Not Hate

The recipe for love
662
views

Over the past month or so I have noticed an increase in negativity with hateful posts, comments and pictures being shared on social media. When I saw the rudeness and controversial comments on Facebook, it upset me and put me in such a horrible mood. Due to all of this, I tried not getting on social media as much, but due to my curiosity I wanted to see what was being said. Thinking about the stuff that has happened, and is still happening, saddened me. It saddened me to think that people can be so hateful towards each other and then wonder what is going wrong with the world and why it is so cruel. I am not perfect by any means, but I do try to spread positivity by watching what I say, how I say it and how it can be taken by someone else. Words are powerful and believe it or not, they do hurt -- a lot.

My challenge to you is to take a step back and look at the bigger picture. By making that hateful comment or posting a controversial picture are you being a good role model? Are you sending a positive message? Are you "helping" someone or leading them astray? If you are a Christian, are you okay with being hateful, judging someone, leading people away from God and possibly not being someone they can come to when in need? I know that I would not be okay knowing that a comment I made resulted in someone turning away from becoming a Christian much less them physically hurting themselves. Ask yourself this question: is it worth it?

Spreading positivity, loving others as you would love yourself, giving a helping hand to someone in need, and spreading God's goodness and message can make all of the difference. I can tell you that it'll make you smile knowing that you helped a person, prevented something from happening to that friend of yours, and that you are doing what it takes to make a change for the better and toward a positive, bright future. I can also tell you that it brings the biggest smile to my face seeing people wave and tell people hey (even if they don't know them), giving someone a compliment or telling them to have a good day. That alone can make the difference in your day and most importantly theirs, because behind closed doors you do not know what that person is going through. Instead of spitting out hateful words, you should give someone words of encouragement, comfort and love, show them kindness, lend them a helping hand, and give them someone they can count on.

I challenge you to stop and seriously ask yourself what would Jesus do, the next time you go to speak before thinking.

Lastly, here are some Bible verses that have been heavy on my heart.

Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins. 1 Peter 4:8.
Hatred stirs up dissension, but love covers all wrongs." Proverbs 10:12.
But I say to you who hear, love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who abuse you. To one who strikes you on the cheek, offer the other also, and from one who takes away your cloak do not withhold your tunic either. Give to everyone who begs of you, and from one who takes away your goods do not demand them back. And as you wish that others would do to you, do so to them. Luke 6:27-36.
Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. Ephesians 4:31.
Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear. Ephesians 4:29.
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. Galatians 5:22-23.


Popular Right Now

Yes, I Had Ashes On My Forehead Last Wednesday

We all mark ourselves with ash and confidently walk the streets after, not at all phased by the confused and seemingly questionable looks we tend to receive.
934
views

Over the past couple of days, I’ve had a lot of people ask me why Catholics put such a big emphasis on Ash Wednesday and Lent. We all mark ourselves with ash and confidently walk the streets after, not at all phased by the confused and seemingly questionable looks we tend to receive. Now, while the Catholic Church is not the only denomination to celebrate Ash Wednesday, it is often directly referenced when speaking about this special day every year.

So, why Ash Wednesday? Why Lent? What’s the big fuss about?

Catholics celebrate Ash Wednesday because we see Lent as a beautiful and important way to recognize our humanity and prepare our hearts for the celebration of God’s ultimate sacrifice.



The Ash we place on our foreheads reminds us that our earthly life is temporary, and we must set our eyes and hearts on heaven and eternal life with the Lord. It is a symbol of our sinful human nature.

The ashes are seen as a sign of penance, meant to remind us that we must prepare ourselves for Easter. It is easy to forget these things. Ash Wednesday reminds us why we celebrate Lent and actively involves Catholics in the Lenten season.

Lent, in the Catholic faith, is forty days spent, mirroring Jesus, preparing our hearts to celebrate Him at Easter. Often, Catholics choose to make a sacrifice during the Lenten season.

Children are encouraged to try to take something they really love and sacrifice it. As a young Catholic, I spent years giving up TV, candy, and one year even red meat.

But, the sacrifice for teenagers and adults is intended for something deeper. The goal of a sacrifice during lent is to do something for your life that will ultimately lead you closer to the Lord. We also take on a sacrifice, or penance, to acknowledge the fact that we are sinful and in need of spiritual repair before receiving God's grace at Easter.

Some people choose to sacrifice their time by going to mass every day, praying the rosary, or making more time for prayer. Others eliminate something negative from their lives: bad habits, negative influences, or addictive behavior.

Ultimately, the goal of sacrificing during Lent in the Catholic faith isn’t to give something up for forty days and then immediately splurge on Easter, going back to old habits or addictions. The goal of Lent is to change the way you live in order to deepen your relationship with God.

So, if you spend too much time watching television instead of making time for prayer, hopefully after Lent, you have made a change to your prayer life that will exceed just the forty days and ultimately change your life for the better.

Our small penances are ways in which we try to comprehend the sacrifice Jesus made for us. Although we can never fully understand or experience the magnitude of His sacrifice, we try to make smaller sacrifices mirroring the Lord and trying to live like Him. At Easter, we receive the redemption we desperately need and rejoice in God’s love and sacrifice.

Understanding why Catholics place such great importance on Ash Wednesday and Lent can help you better understand the Catholic faith. One of our goals as Catholics is to deepen our faith in the Lord and to one day abide with Him in Heaven.



Lent helps us recognize the faults within our own lives and work to live a life closer to that of Jesus Christ.

Cover Image Credit: Unsplash

Related Content

Connect with a generation
of new voices.

We are students, thinkers, influencers, and communities sharing our ideas with the world. Join our platform to create and discover content that actually matters to you.

Learn more Start Creating

What It Means To Be A "Christian"

Do you qualify?
180
views

You go to church, but that doesn’t mean you are a Christian. You don’t go to church, but that doesn’t mean you aren’t a Christian.

What is church anyways? A sanctuary, a building, a place Christians herd through on Sundays. I like going back and searching for basic definitions, because they help me understand bigger concepts. Church can be a place where we go on Sundays, but you should think of it as a common ground for fellow believers to meet and worship God.

It’s a place that reminds us of God’s grace.

It gives us comfort, reassurance, wisdom, but more importantly, it is a place we can be with God. Matthew 18:20 says, “For where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I among them.”

I grew up going to church regularly, but it wasn’t until I was a junior in high school that I made my own decision to attend. Despite the unfortunate circumstances my family was under, I developed a strong desire to go and listen to the pastor. I wanted to study the bible more, and by doing so, I developed a personal relationship with God.

The habit of going to church with my family always facilitated my learning about Jesus, but our family unit broke up towards the end of high school. No longer did I have someone taking me to church. I had to made that decision on my own. The act of deciding to go on my own represents making the decision to put my faith in Jesus. I grew up going to church, but that doesn’t mean anything.

What defines someone as a Christian is not whether they go to church every Sunday or not, it’s whether or not they believe that Jesus is the Son of God and they desire to grow closer to Him. If I have a basic understanding of the bible but I don’t follow it and try to live my life according to it, then how can I call myself a Christian? Delving deeper into this question of “What makes someone a Christian?” leads me to scripture.

Look at Matthew 19, because there’s a story about a rich man who asked Jesus how to attain eternal life in heaven. In verse 21, “Jesus said, ‘If you want to be complete, go, sell what you own, and give the money to the poor. Then you will have treasure in heaven. And come follow me.’"

Should we take that literally and get rid of everything in our possession?

While as believers we tithe and be generous in our offerings to the Lord, this verse has another meaning. We should get rid of anything that stops us from following Jesus wholeheartedly. God should be the center of our lives, regardless of our circumstances.

In Acts 2:38, “Peter replied, ‘Change your hearts and lives. Each of you must be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. Then you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.’” I remember a Sunday morning in first grade, my sisters, my mom, and I listened to a church sermon on the TV.

After it was over, my mom asked me, “Madi, have you ever asked Jesus to come into your heart and forgive you for your sins?” She explained that I had to do that on my own and that she couldn’t do it for me. I felt like I was too young and I didn’t want to do something so radical, but she said I wasn’t too young and every person needs to ask Jesus that. So I did.

My question for you is this: have you asked Jesus to come into your heart and forgive you for your sins? Can you say that you have a personal relationship with Him? If you can boldly proclaim that you believe Jesus is the Son of God and he is your savior, then you are a Christian.

I don’t care if you go to church, I don’t care if you make mistakes. It doesn’t matter if you’ve sinned in the past, because Jesus forgives our sins. But, only if you ask Him. Romans 10:9 says, “Because if you confess with your mouth “Jesus is Lord” and in your heart you have faith that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.”






Cover Image Credit: Yahoo

Related Content

Facebook Comments