Will We Accept Hatred or Will We Build Love?

Our country is once more facing the sorrow of mass murder at the hands of a hateful, angry man. His hate has been expanded beyond the boundary of the church to discussions and conjectures from every corner of the nation.

One hateful, bigoted man has blown bigotry out of proportion, yet again. It was horrifying for a man to murder others in the midst of a prayer meeting, especially in the historic AME church.

It offers every politician a means to make a comment, a statement of disgust, return small donations from one who has been accused of racial hatred. Even President Obama has offered his opinion.

No, bias has not been eliminated, from any of the so-called races. Hatred and bias against others is a means of division, a way to encourage strife and war. Such bias has existed from near the beginning of time, since Cain slew Abel. Satan has used the weapon of bias and bigotry since then as a way to divide the children of Adam and Eve. It has become a favorite weapon in his arsenal.

Causing strife and hatred, leading to arguments and war, is one thing Satan pulls from his quiver frequently—much more often lately.  There has been war of some kind, somewhere for more than one hundred years. Even a small battle, the murder of nine people in a church, has a similar effect, especially in our day of immediate media and immediate reaction, resulting in agitation, unrest, and hate. It draws our hearts and minds from our love of others and our God down to hatred and despair.

We should abhor the murder of nine in prayer meeting. We should be aggrieved by the hateful actions of the murderer. However, our horror at his actions is no reason to further the hatred, increase the bias, or provide photo ops and sound bytes for politicians.

What is happening in the world beyond the furor over the Confederate flag? Surely there is something happening in the world beyond this current battle.

The media is so focused on one event, other larger, more despicable occurrences of hatred happen elsewhere, unmentioned by the press, unknown to the population of our country. How many were murdered in other countries today because they believe in Christ? Have others been lifted by the actions of others? Were there forces of nature affecting the lives of others beyond our borders? Who knows? The eyes of cameras focus on the Confederate flag controversy, or the latest killing of someone by the police. All horrid, unspeakable acts, to be true, but all sharing in the act of drawing Satan’s bow and directing pain and hatred into the population.

We are loved. There is much good in the world today. Much that can be shared to battle for right and beauty. Take a walk and enjoy nature. Sit in a park and watch little children at play. Drive in the country or the mountains. Enjoy the beauties of the world given to us by God.

What else can you do to move from hatred to joy and love? What ideas can you offer?

Show Kindness and Love

In towns and cities across the United States, people are attacked, their businesses damaged and destroyed because they have admitted to homosexuality. Some people think it is necessary to show their disapproval for another person’s behavior in an open, violent manner. This is not right!

In all things Christ tells us to show love for others. He didn’t accept sin: he overturned the money changing tables in the temples. Still, he loved the sinner. He did not throw stones at the woman found in adultery, rather, offering the woman an opportunity to repent.

We aren’t required to support or participate in sin. We are required to accept the person and show kindness and love. Other actions are specifically not supported by the Savior or the Bible.

We have friends who participate in alternate life styles. Some of my friends find nothing wrong with an evening glass of wine, or an aperitif; others enjoy a cigarette or cigar; some friends participate in homosexual activities; while another may believe extramarital affairs are fine; and others may choose to drink coffee. I, personally, choose to avoid each of those activities. Not all are “sins,” but I choose not to engage in them. My friends have the right to participate if they choose. And, I maintain my friendship regardless of their choices.

I believe in the right of choice. All men and women have the right to choose actions, behaviors, and beliefs. Each can freely choose. However, with each choice comes unchangeable consequences, both positive and negative. The choice may be freely made, but the consequences cannot be changed. Hence, if I smoke, I can expect problems with my lungs.

At one time, laws entered administering consequences for behaviors contrary to those approved of by society. No longer. Standards have been lowered, behaviors once shunned are accepted.

I am certain Eve faced children who made choices she would rather they didn’t. She would want to force them to choose as Jehovah would want, but she knew that would draw her far from God’s plan. She allowed them to choose and face the consequences.

It wasn’t easy for her, it isn’t easy for us now. Even though she allowed them to make choices she would not have preferred, she continued to love her children and show them kindness. She didn’t join them in their bad choices, but that didn’t stop her from being kind and loving them.
Anger, violence, and hatred are not ways to show our disagreement with another’s choices. We, like Eve, need to find ways to stand for our standards and beliefs while still showing kindness and love. Certainly, ransacking a place of business or assaulting people who don’t fit our standards does not reveal the love and kindness required by those committed to obedience to God’s law.

Unfair Dress Codes

Life isn’t fair, never was, never will be. People who told you that lied to you. But, sometimes there should be a line drawn.

We saw an older man walking down the street with his shirt stripped off and negligently tucked in a back pocket. I looked at my husband and asked, “Why do men think they can walk around with their shirts off?” His comment, almost concurrent to mine, “I don’t want to see his ‘tits’.” Neither did I.

Men have some audacity, thinking it is fine that they run around half naked, and expect that nothing be said or done. Yet, if a woman were to take off the clothing from her upper body, even in the privacy of her own home, she would be considered a tramp, and loose.

Worse, women who dress in the fashion of the day are targets for men who think they have a right to whistle, touch, feel, or rape them. Why should what a woman wears be an excuse for a man’s bad behavior?

Many times, the only clothing available, usually made by men, is tight fitting with low necks revealing more than anyone really wants to see. Try to find a modest, mid-rising neckline, covering your chest. It isn’t possible. They do not make them. The only way to get modesty in dress is to sew for yourself. I have done that for my dresses, but I don’t want to sew tees, or casual blouses. That costs too much money and too much time.

So, men control what we wear, as “fashion designers,” then they gawk and oogle when we wear what is available to buy. They walk around town, all but naked, and we are enticing them? Probably, because we don’t want to look at their skinny, scrawny bodies, or the rolls hanging over the belt. Even if they are in shape, why should we be forced to see them in such a state of undress?

Women rarely rape men and blame it on the man’s state of dress, or undress. Men should offer women the same courtesy, and allow us to dress as well as we can. Do not blame your rude, crude, and lewd behavior on what we wear. Control yourselves. Women, be fair, and control yourselves, as well.

Eve, First Matriarch coming soon