Photo from me.me
By Sherry Simmons
It isn't hard to see that we are living in some very unprecedented times. It seems that kindness has left the room. What has happened in conversations; that there is no tolerance in disagreements? What has happened to people that the first reaction of engagement is a hateful remark?
Matthew 24:12 New International Version
12 Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow
Well, there it is, this is the explanation of what we are experiencing. The evil in this world has become so prevalent, and so normalized, that hearts of many have become cold. It makes sense when you think on this. When evil is upfront pushing its way into every area of this world, it surrounds itself with darkness, and when a heart is dark, it is also cold. When evil becomes the normal, when wickedness is praised, hearts are hardened. God is Love and God is Light. Where there is darkness, God is not there. Without God there is no love, no light.
1 John 4:8
Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.
The absence of Good is evil. The absence of Light is darkness the absence of Love is hate.
The Lord corrected me, not too long ago ( thank You Jesus.) I had engaged in a conversation on social media. I began to comment on a topic of a particularly sinful nature, and everything I said was met with some of the most hateful language that you could imagine. It did not make any difference in what I said, the response was pretty much the same. It was if my words were invisible, and their words were written in stone. No budging, no discussion, nothing I could say would even begin to break the ice.
We can break through situations with words, when those words are spoken from the heart, and from the scriptures, God’s word is sharper than a two edged sword. The Word of God can pierce through any conversation, it can put an abrupt end to a senseless word for word battle. But there is another way to break through the ice, another way to tear down a wall that separates humans in disagreements. That is Love. An act of kindness, a soft caring reply, can soften those walls. A very important part of this is who people see you to be. Do they see you showing love and compassion? Do they see you as a person of kindness? They will be less likely to attack you with harsh words if they see love in you. That Love is the Love of God.
God has corrected me in several ways for which I am so grateful. He corrected me that I really wasn't any different than the one i was arguing with. I had words, they had words, and back and forth we went. Our conversation went no-where. The only thing I accomplished was that when the other person saw my name in another comment or post, they would remember the argument. They would reinforce their wall and be ready to come out swinging.
I left no residue of love, no flicker of light, and so the darkness within that person remained. It is not easy to walk away from a conversation you may hear or read when it riles you up, but that is the playbook of evil. That is how the evil one gains ground. The conversation sparks a flame and our words fuel it. We play right into the game of satan.
It was because of this, that I have taken a hard look at how people see me, and not just my friends but those who do not know the Lord. Why would any one want to talk with me, if I have nothing to offer except words in disagreements? Why would this person who does not know the Lord want to even entertain the thought of talking about Jesus? What did I bring to the table? What light did I bring into a dark room?
I have a ways to go in repairing the many times my words were not words of love. I have some damage in my outward persona to mend. We need to hold back from engaging in conversations with out love; If we can‘t respond in the manner that Jesus would respond, then we best be quiet. If we don't, when we continue to go- tit for tat, the next opportunity to engage with that person will be worse than the last. Our argument, our loveless words, only reinforces the wall between us.
God loves us all, we need to always remember that when we are talking with someone. We need to invite God into that conversation. We need to show love even when it is difficult. We need to walk in the foot steps of our Lord Jesus, being thankful he loves us, being thankful we know him, and wanting the world to know this incredible, unending Love.
God loves that person you are about to engage with, let us be sure that our words encompass that.
How blessed we are to know such Saving Grace! Let us be light, let us be love; let us remember -that person that does not know Jesus. It is the way they are, because of the absence of Christ in their life.
Want to change the world? Start with yourself. Start with how people see you. Start with how you respond.
Be the light in someone’s life. Be the light in a conversation. Remember there in no need to bring a flashlight into a well -lit room, the need for light is in the darkness.
1 John 3:1
See how great a love the Father has bestowed on us, that we would be called children of God; and such we are. For this reason the world does not know us, because it did not know Him.
If you have questions about Jesus, if you are not sure about where you are in the family of God, please reach out! If we cannot answer your questions, we will find someone who can,
Jesus is coming back, and today we are one day closer to his return. Be ready.
The Lord appeared to him from afar, saying,
“I have loved you with an everlasting love;
Therefore I have drawn you with lovingkindness.