Spread Love, Not Hate

Spread Love, Not Hate

The recipe for love

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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Not Alone in our Loneliness

It happens to the best of us, but don't let it get the best of us.

The fear of loneliness is a real one and from it stems a lot of other basic feelings.

Ever get scared that you’ll end up “forever alone”?

Ever get FOMO?

Ever fall into peer pressure?

Ever feel the constant need for approval?

Ever seek affirmation?

Ever get the gut-sinking feeling that nobody else in the world gets it?

All of these derive from the fact that we are all afraid of being left alone. We’re afraid of not being “good enough” for others to like us. We’re afraid that if we stand out, we’ll stand alone.

Well- let me clue you in on something. You’re not alone. All of these feelings are so common. Except, we never talk about them for the sake of bottling our emotions and not scaring people away. Because we believe the lie that everybody is “fine” and nobody would get it if we opened up about these empty feelings we sometimes have. It’s a never-ending and discouraging cycle.

A cycle, yes. But a pointless one. Why hide the fact that this basic human emotion and fear is felt and experienced? The fear of loneliness is insanely present in a lot of lives and we must come to terms with the fact that, even if it isn’t expressed, it’s there. And, when you dive into it and cut to the core, it makes sense.

We have an inherently natural instinct to desire human connection. It’s in our DNA. In Genesis, it is written that man was created in the likeness of God. What one thing does God desire more than anything else?

Us in a right relationship with him. He desires intimate, real, open, and vulnerable relationships with us. He wants nothing more than for us to cling to Him and walk deeper and deeper with Him.

So, realizing that God, our Father, craves the same connections and has defeated the same unsatisfactory feelings of loneliness that I have and will experience is the most comforting thing in the world.

Jesus is the calm to my chaotic thought. The peace to my pity party. The comfort to my confusion. The hope to my helplessness. He is faithful even in my fears. He satisfies my heart when my mind tells me to run. He pulls me close when my mind says I’m never good enough. He loves recklessly and pursues endlessly.

My fear of loneliness and everything encompassed within has been taken to the grave and has been defeated by grace. And so has yours. Because of His fearless faithfulness, I no longer need to fear loneliness because my heart will be fully satisfied in Him.

Cover Image Credit: Flickr

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When I Have Nothing Else To Do But Trust

2018: a brand new year.

I've never been one to have new years' resolutions because, well, I never actually find success in them. This year, however, I've jumped on the band wagon of choosing a word for the year.

With the close of 2017, I was in a season of impatience, loneliness, and anger. I had no idea what God was wanting to do with my particular circumstances and I was annoyed with the waiting process. That's not surprising because if you know anything about me, then you will know that I am probably the most impatient person on this earth.

I hate waiting. I hate not knowing what is going to happen. And I hate not being in control. But God is in the midst of every one of those things.

He's a patient God and He knows the future. So what gives me the right to rush the journey?What gives me the right to not trust God? To not trust His processes and His actions? To not trust what He brings to the table and in my life?

Throughout 2018, I will be committing myself to trusting God, to trusting His reasonings and His seasons.

So what does trust mean?

To me, trust means finding the calm in the storm; believing in patience and the waiting through trials; nurturing and appreciating doors that are necessary endings; staying still with praise on my lips; crying out when I feel the loneliness of college doom on me; allowing myself to breathe and grow mentally, physically, and spiritually; believing that although I am just a tiny speck on this earth, I am destined for my own specific and important journey.

On the first Sunday of the year, I prayed a prayer about endings and beginnings. I prayed for the Lord to lead me out into waters and dry lands that leave me with no other option than to trust Him and His work. I prayed that He lead me to the point of embracing the grace that He so freely gives, not lends; because we have a Father that gives with no return in mind besides love and trust.

If I'm being honest with you, 2018 scares me. I'm nervous about where God will send me this year and what trials will show up. I'm worried about what Satan will throw in my way to blind me of the promises of the Lord.

But no matter, I will trust in Him and stay still, because in doing so I will find strength in Him (Psalm 27:14).

Cover Image Credit: Mandy Parsons

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