Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Always Love

"Always love. Hate will get you every time."

I think Nada Surf is onto something here. . .

too bad that's not the case for this guy . . .

My friend Kelley posted that vid on my Facebook this morning and I was just so saddened by it. :(

I will be honest, I grew up with a LOT of anger and hatred against others and myself in my heart. I had plenty of reasons to, which I won't go into depth about for now. But let me tell you, if I could take back all those years of hatred against others and myself and anger and replace them with love and compassion and understanding, I would in a heartbeat.

"Always love. Hate will get you every time."

It's a truth that will save a lot of time, energy, relationships, and lives. Always love. It's hard, I know it is. I get annoyed with certain personalities just as much as you do. But here's the deal. Hatred against others solves nothing. Nothing.

I think the thing that hurt my heart the most about that teaching from Steven Anderson (I listened to the entire teaching) is that there were people in the audience "Amen"ing and cheering him on. So not only is there extreme hatred being conveyed throughout his teaching, it's being encouraged and learned by those in attendance. He is teaching hatred.

When I was a little girl, my parents went through a separation that led to divorce. My father was completely at fault, there is no doubt about that. But I'm thankful that even at a young age, I never stopped loving my father despite his shortcomings. What followed the divorce was years of fighting past my mother's attempts to teach us to hate our father. She would say he was the devil and that we should hate him and that we should never speak to him and so on. I never realized back then how much her thoughts and her teachings would play out in my life. I didn't hate my dad. I've NEVER hated my dad. My love for my dad has always endured, and for that I'm entirely grateful. But what resulted was taking on a mindset that it was okay to hate people. That somehow, if someone wronged me, it was perfectly normal to hate them and wish that they were dead. So I did. I manipulated situations to embarrass others and to give them "what was coming to them." As I've grown up and as I've developed in my faith, I've learned that it's not okay. If I teach others that it's okay to hate people that disagree with them/ that make big mistakes/ that say the wrong things at the wrong times/ that get on their nerves/ that look or act different than they do/ believe different things than they do . . . not ONLY am I teaching them to learn to eventually hate me, but I'm teaching them the COMPLETE opposite of the gospel of Jesus Christ.

The thing I don't understand is that when Mr. Anderson says that he prays that Obama would die and burn in hell, it COMPLETELY counteracts the verses in the Bible that says that God desires that NONE SHOULD PERSISH and that ALL WOULD COME TO THE FATHER and that GOD IS THE JUDGE, not us.

And I think what some don't understand is that hate kills. It kills your heart, it kills your joy, it kills your life, and the hearts, joy, and lives of people in your wake. What is sad is that though I am a believer and follower of Jesus Christ, I know others who are reading this and are thinking I'm off course with the heart of God. And they are thinking that I'm a horrible sinner because I don't hate homosexuals, or our President, or other people who don't necessarily share my same value system. And though that's completely not cool, I get it. As long as there is someone else to hate, someone else to blame, someone else to find fault in, we'll always find it/them. It's easy. So easy in fact, that the one place WE rarely look is the one place where we can start—in the mirror, examining our own ways, our own heart and saying, "How can I change my life, my heart, my mindset to build a bridge of love, to take time out of my life to invest in another's, to listen to SOMOENE ELSE'S story for a change, in hopes that good will come out of it?" We don't need to develop a community, a nation, a world of hatred against others. I need to build bridges and relationships that will last. You need to build bridges and relationships that will last.
We need to build bridges and relationships that will last.

Please hear me when I say that I DO NOT hate Steven Anderson. I am however highly saddened and disappointed that people are jumping on board with his teachings about praying that Obama would die and burn in hell. I don't always agree with the President, but I respect his authority. And I DON'T want him to die and burn in hell. I dont' think that is what is going to "save" our nation. I think that any Christian believers who prays that prayer totally negates their credibility when they get mad that people would support abortion. Wanting someone to die, whether they are a governmental figure or an unborn child, is "6 one way, half a dozen the other" and makes us no different than those that we oppose.

IF you find yourself wanting something to hate,

Hate poverty.
Hate world hunger.
Hate child abandonment.
Hate social injustice.
Hate selfishness.
Hate pride.
Hate watching the heart of humankind deteriorate.

and do something PROACTIVE and PRODUCTIVE about it.

Always Love.


Kelley R. said...

"I could try to point a finger
But the glass points in my direction
Sure you’ve got your sharp edges
but my wounds are from my own reflection
You’ve got nothing I could ever hold against you
I've got fatal flaws to call my own
A mirror’s so much harder to hold"
Jon Foreman, "A Mirror Is Harder To Hold"

"If you look for the bad in people expecting to find it, you surely will." Abraham Lincoln

Mark Zamen said...

This is an excellent essay; accurate, thoughtful, and well expressed. It is an undeniable truth that no matter who you are, what you believe, or how you live your life, there are those in this world who despise you - and it has nothing to do with you as an individual. (I hate you because you are: white, black, male, female, Jewish, Muslim, gay, straight, etc.) This is in addition to, of course, the personal animosity we all encounter at some point - justified or not. A real-world example of what hatred does can be readily seen in the pages of my recently released biographical novel, Broken Saint. It is based on my forty-year friendship with a gay, bipolar man, and chronicles his internal and external struggles as he battles for stability and acceptance (of himself and by others). More information on the book is available at www.eloquentbooks.com/BrokenSaint.html.

Mark Zamen, author