Hate. It's such a strong word. Such an overused word.
I hate lima beans.
I hate this weather.
I hate doing the dishes.
I find it difficult to believe that people have intense and passionate dislike of lima beans. What did lima beans ever do to them? I dislike lima beans, but hate? No. (And I love doing dishes!)
I see more and more hate on social media.
Hate towards refugees. Hate toward Muslims. Hate toward anyone who doesn't agree with the person's opinions or agenda.
Not disagreement. Not dislike. Hate.
Someone hating a fellow U.S. citizen so much they would like to see them leave the country.
Someone hating a group of people fleeing from violence and persecution so much they don't want them as neighbors.
Someone hating a celebrity so much they suggest she should be shot in the head.
Someone hating a politician so much, they suggest he should be hanged.
And it's not one person spewing hatred. It's memes of hatred being shared by thousands.
With all this hate, can we please be a little kinder to the dishes? (Doing dishes really isn't that bad. Really. Warm water, bubbles, time to contemplate life or nothing at all.)
But seriously - when did we become a culture of hate? Have I missed it all this time, or have I been too blinded by the love I feel for fellow human beings and the light shining from the people with whom I choose to surround myself?
I could say that I hate all the hate in this world, but that would be wrong. I don't understand hate. I don't like how hate feels or what it does to people physically, emotionally, and spiritually. I do not have room in my life for hate.
I do understand love, compassion, mercy, forgiveness, and grace.
I don't hate my abusers. I pray for them. I forgive them. I feel compassion for them in their brokenness.
I don't hate my illness. I give thanks for the gifts it gives me, for the lessons it teaches me, and for the inner strength it has shown me.
I don't hate people who are different from me. I don't hate people who believe different things than me. I don't hate people with whom I radically disagree or people who hate me.
I embrace diversity.
I pray for peace and grace to replace hatred in the hearts of others.
I don't let others' hate stop my forgiveness and love.
Please, spread LOVE not hate. Steep your spirit in PEACE. Let FORGIVENESS speak louder than anger. Exude GRACE.