It’s love month! Do you care? Do you not care? People’s feelings are all over the board this month. I like Valentine’s day. I’m not one who requires a lot of celebrating. I did in my early years. I thought Andy needed to go big or go home. But now its like I don’t want to wait 2 hours to have dinner, and I love flowers but I also would hate to see our checking account $100 less because of the receipt of them. Can you just unload the dishwasher and walk the dog and I’ll call it my Valentine’s Day!
I’m going to let you in on a level of transparency here that I don’t normally throw out to the internet world. The lesson I’ve learned isn’t a pleasant one. And its not one my normal self would listen to. Because I believe in Justice! And speaking my opinion! But I tend to learn the hard way. The past few months have been emotionally charged to say the least. I know I’m not the only one who has been witness to a hate and ugliness that is divisive. I find myself reading articles and comments that make my blood boil. I’ve busted out the “hide” button on facebook. It’s honestly affected me on such a deep level I have found it consuming me, affecting my attitudes, and making me not like people. And what was even more confusing, was the people spewing the hate and anger, were throwing in the word “love”. And that word – love – got stuck in my head.
I got an index card, and I wrote out these words. Whether you believe in the sovereignty of the Bible or not, I don’t believe you can’t argue this definition of love.
“Love is patient, love is kind, it is not proud, it is not rude. It is not self seeking. It is not easily angered. It keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil, but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, and always perseveres”. 1 Corinthians 13:4-7
I put that index card on my dashboard, where I would see it often, because all I do these days is run my offspring places. And every time I saw it, I let the words penetrate my heart. I spoke it, I memorized it, and I envisioned it. And I thought about those people who made me so angry. And I thought about how I loved them. Even though the hate they spoke, or shared, made me angry. And I realized I could spew the same hate back. And to be frank, I had my well thought out response planned in my head already. Or I could actually act on what those words said, and demonstrate love. Because newsflash: facebook rants change no ones mind. They just add a nail to the wedge that keeps driving us all apart.
I made myself a plan of action. Last week I tried to stay off social media, and focus on doing things that would show others love. I made some meals for those who didn’t have time for dinner, I spent some time with a friend who had a son in the hospital. I spent some uninterrupted time with my kids. I wanted to put the love that that was on that index card on the dashboard in my van into action. And you know what I found? My anger was slowly dissolving. And now comes the hard part. I’m going to show love to those who don’t agree with me. And might even hate me for what I believe. Because despite popular belief it’s okay to love those who don’t agree with you.
This is my takeaway. My lesson learned. I hope it can be yours too – Change your focus from fighting with words, to fighting with actions. Don’t just use the word love – live it.