I’ve been thinking recently about the self-involved, gossipy, materialistic rhythms of the world. My own heart starts to churn that stuff out when I’m not careful, too, and those closest to me pay the price. And I think that it’s fair, Biblically, to call all that stuff hate. All the backbiting, the obsession with creature comforts, the frustration and entitlement and thirst for pleasure that seem (to me) to be the tune of the 2016 North American world I’ve been placed in. And, of course, of my own still-sinful 31-year-old heart.
And as I’ve thought about it as hate, for the last 48 hours or so, I’ve also thought about the differences between it and the self-forgetful love of the God who is Jesus. There’s a world of difference between the posture I see on Facebook, sit-coms, and in my own worst moments and the one I see in the Christ who took on flesh.
And one of those differences is the courage of love.
There is a fight to love that isn’t in hate. Hate will clamor and thrash for things, but it can’t plant its feet and stand against the darkness. Hate will kill to own things, but it will never die to protect them.
I want to be a gift of self-sacrificial mercy to my city, my workplace, and my family. I want the tough stuff of love, not the flimsy, impulse-chasing material of hate. I want to have the solidity and bravery of real, Biblical love: Prayer for my enemies, generosity, and truthfulness. And of course hope. Hope in the resurrection and reclamation that Jesus Christ is bringing with Him someday, when a trumpet will ring far louder than the song I’m hearing now.