Spread Love, Not Hate

Spread Love, Not Hate

The recipe for love
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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.


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12 Bible Verses For Faith In Hard Times

Remind yourself that God is always with you.
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Lately, I have felt lost at what God wants for my life. Ever since I've come back to UWG everything has been horrible. It seems that I can't catch a break. I'm trying my best to focus on school, work, and extracurricular activities. But it's hard when I'm having issues with my apartment/roommates and knowing my family back home is struggling and needs many prayers. All, I keep thinking is maybe Carrollton isn't where I belong anymore. I've asked God if He can guide me in the right direction. Below, I have found Bible verses that have helped get me through these rough, past couple of weeks.

1. Isaiah 43:2

"When you go through deep waters, I will be with you."

2. Psalm 37:5

"Commit your way to the Lord. Trust in Him, and He will act."

3. Romans 8:18

"The pain that you've been feeling, can't compare to the joy that's coming."

4. Proverbs 31:25

"She is clothed in strength, and dignity, and she laughs without fear of the future."

5. Joshua 1:9

"Be bold. Be brave. Be courageous."

6. Ecclesiastes 3:1

"There is a time for everything and a reason for every activity under the heavens."

7. Isaiah 41:10

"Don't be afraid, for I am with you. Don't be discouraged, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will hold you up with my victorious right hand."

8. Isaiah 66:9

"I will not cause pain without allowing something new to be born, says the Lord."

9. Psalm 91:4

"He will cover you with His feathers, and under His wings, you will find refuge; His faithfulness will be your shield and rampart."

10. Psalm 62:1-2

"My soul finds rest in God alone, my salvation comes from Him, He alone is my rock and my salvation."

11. Philippians 4:13

"I can do everything through Christ who gives me strength."

12. Jeremiah 29:11

"For I know the plans I have for you, plans to prosper you and not harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."

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finding healing in the ultimate healer

Leaning on God and not myself.

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I started pulling out of my driveway on Monday. It seemed like a normal Monday and I was rushing to work (as usual). I then found out about a close family friend's death as I tried to get out of my driveway blocked by police cars. I got past them and finally reached the end of the driveway.

Then it struck me.

I stopped breathing. I became light-headed. I felt as if I could not go on. Why would all this hurt happen to me?

I had lost four people in five weeks and I was hurting more than ever before.

Why God? I shouted this question in my car on the way to and from work. I cried and cried and cried.

God does not always give us a why. But He does give us a promise. A promise to prosper us and not to harm us, to give us a hope and a future (Jeremiah 29:11).

I began searching for solutions to my hurt... guys, friends, sports, busyness. I could not escape this hurt because I was missing out on the One who is the Ultimate Healer and the Ultimate Void Filler.

I decided to open my heart to those in my Christian community and I found these amazing lyrics from the son, "Though You Slay Me," by Shane & Shane:

Though You slay me
Yet I will praise You
Though You take from me
I will bless Your name
Though You ruin me
Still, I will worship
Sing a song to the one
who's all I need

Our hurt is never an excuse to ignore God. It is an opportunity to pursue God.

I do not need other things in this world to fill voids, I need God. I need Him every single second of the day. He is teaching me a lot during this season of hurt in my life: I should be thanking Him for the growth that I am experiencing in my life and thanking Him for the opportunity to love others hurting well.

If you are feeling the way I have been lately, I urge you to rest in the truth that you are by no means alone in your struggles. You must reach out to people in the church and ask for prayer and help. You must focus on what God is doing in your life as a result of the hurt you are feeling. I believe that God uses the people who feel most unusable to transform lives. God uses our hurt for His glory because He is a God who deserves all glory. How can you bring God glory in your life?

I wanted to conclude with this challenge: let your "whys" turn into your "thank yous" and your emptiness turn into the fullness that can only be found in God.

Cover Image Credit:

Anna Schoeck

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