What has been your reaction to the recent election? Maybe it was surprise. It was evident by the flustered shock and speechless astonishment of much of the media’s reaction as they were expecting a very different outcome. The Washington Post came out with a telling article the morning after the election entitled, “The media didn’t want to believe Trump could win. So they looked the other way.” The article puts it plainly, “the media missed the story,”
Another reaction to the election results has been most confusing. It is the overt outrage as some felt when their candidate or proposition or measure went in a direction contrary to predictions or desires. This reaction is all the spewing of hateful, aggressive speech and destructive actions of angry mobs. The morning after the election my Facebook feed was lit up with people venting their feelings, but some was downright nasty, hurtful, calling people awful names, passing judgements and attacking the character of those who did not vote their way. Why such destructive hate-filled language? Quite possibly they were emboldened by the detestable speak of name calling and the aggression of verbal bullying of the campaign. Maybe it created a current of loathing that turned not only into a wave of parroted violent rhetoric but a tsunami of hostile and hurtful physical violence. The rioting mobs that left burning and damaged cars in their wake are evidence of the destructive and injurious nature of hate.
Frustration is part of life. We don’t always get our way and circumstances continue to put obstacles in our path. We can chose to let that internal irritation fester into destructive hate or we can channel that energy into peaceful and positive change. This is what love does.
1 Peter 4:8 Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins.
Love is a choice to act in a loving way regardless of how we are treated.
1 Corinthians 13:4-7 4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
Sure it’s difficult, but it is a more excellent way that fosters better solutions and builds community. Hate tears down, love builds. Jesus called us to this relational and character building kind of love.
Luke 6:35-38 35 But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High, because He is kind to the ungrateful and wicked. 36 Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful. 37 “Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven. 38 Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.”
So important is this love, it is called the second greatest commandment in the Bible, Matthew 22:36-40, charging all to “love your neighbor.” Let love out by listening to others points of view. Let love flow through our words as we communicate.
Colossians 4:6 Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.
Let love move us to find constructive ways to bring about change and build our communities. Love does build, but we have to make the purposeful choice to love. Will you?
There is another choice that many are encouraging after the results of the election. It is to pray.
Philippians 4:6-7 6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Colossians 4:2 Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful.
1 Timothy 2:1-2 I urge, then, first of all, that requests, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for everyone– 2 for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness.
Prayer works. God does listen, and though He may not always answer as we wish, He does hear and we are changed. Why not try it?
Love and prayer are not natural human tendencies. That’s why a place like church can help. Church can teach us to pray and love like Jesus. If you are not already connected to a church, please feel invited to ours. Our website has information about our various campuses. We would love you to connect with you, www.cypresschurch.net .
Seeking to love and pray more together with you,