Your Hatred Won't Change the World
To The Haters
Where did your hatred come from? Were you taught by your parents to hate? Your grandparents? Maybe it was the man you worked for who learned to hate from his parents or grandparents. Is your hatred founded in fear or is it that you just hate anyone who is different from you?
You say you are a Christian. Are you really? Did you grow up in the church and if so, did you not sing the song "Jesus loves the little children"? Perhaps you don't remember but the lyric was "Jesus loves the little children, ALL the children of the world. Red and yellow, black and white, they are precious in his sight. Jesus loves the little children of the world." Didn't you learn that song?
You Say You Are a Christian
What about the Ten Commandments? Did you not have to memorize them as a child? Let me refresh your memory. I'll keep it simple for you. The children's version was something like this:
1. Thou shalt have no other gods before me.
2. Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image.
3. Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain.
4. Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy.
5. Honour thy father and thy mother.
6. Thou shalt not kill.
7. Thou shalt not commit adultery.
8. Thou shalt not steal.
9. Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor.
10. Thou shalt not covet.
Does any of this sound familiar?
You Are Wasting Your Life
Before I go any further I should probably tell you that I'm not here to cram Christianity down your throat. I won't tell you to go to church or when to pray. I won't do that because I don't like it when others do it to me. I will however appeal to your rational self. I will ask you which makes more sense; to hate someone for the way they look or to simply look away?
Just think about it for a minute. Do you have something better to do?
Haters among us
I had no plans to write today. While having my morning coffee I turned on the news and began checking my social media accounts and email. There on my Facebook news feed was a video shared by a friend with a note that said "must read". So, I clicked on it. I was appalled. The video lasted about four minutes and was the voice of a man from my home state spewing vitriol and a warning for the listener to arm themselves and prepare to defend themselves against those from another culture who are coming across our southern borders. He declared that "we" would "take no hostages". In other words, those like him were planning to shoot to kill. He warned that in every community there were armed camps. I had to wonder - was he talking about "us" or "them"? My assumption was that he meant "them" since he was warning us to take up arms. He concluded his warning with "God bless and God bless America.
And you call yourself a Christian
My initial response was to wonder what God this man thinks he is serving. He wants me to think he is a Christan. I can only feel pity for someone so ignorant. I was also embarrassed to think that such ignorance might be associated with this state I love so much. My final thought was sadness that any friend of mine would even share such a message of hatred. I closed Facebook and turned my attention to the news. Things only got worse.
In Missouri a man shoots four cousins and three others then kills himself. Sen. James Inhofe, R-Oklahoma brings a snowball to the floor of the Senate to prove there is no climate change. A Russian diplomat has been assassinated. Congress is holding Homeland Security funding hostage and there are threats of another government shutdown. Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker says his battles with labor unions have prepared him to deal with terrorism. Really?
I turned off the news wondering how any of these people can call themselves a Christian.
- The Freedom We Take For Granted
As Americans, we often take our freedom for granted. Our worst days are better than the best days for many around the world. Is anything more could be more precious than freedom?
Seeing the light
Sitting there in the silence I felt the warm rays of the sun streaming through the window and whispered a thank you to a God I have never met face-to-face. It occurred to me that I am comfortable. There is a roof over my head and food in the cabinet. I am dressed in warm clothes and I am healthy. Again I whispered a quiet thank you to a God that didn't whisper back. There are choices I will make today. I can choose to catch up with old friends or visit family. I can choose to sit and watch TV, write something creative, or surf the web. I whispered thank you for the freedom to choose.
In the stillness of the moment, I remembered hearing my Dad say "until you have stood in the darkness, you cannot fully appreciate the light". Thank you God for allowing me to know the difference.
A message to the haters
Your hatred will not change the world, at least not in a good way.
Just as I have a right to choose, so do you. You can choose not to hate. Have you ever wondered what those that you hate would give to have what you have? In every race, religion, or culture there are both good and bad people. That's true of your people too.
Life is short and uncertain. Today may be all we have. Will you waste it hating someone for the color of their skin or language they speak? Will you waste it hating someone for what they wear or where they live or how they pray? Is that how you want to be remembered by your children and grandchildren?
Your hatred won't change the things you hate but you can change yourself and make the world a better place. That's what real Christians do.
© 2015 Linda Crist