We are appalled by the actions of ISIS. Their acts of murder and wanton cruelty stab deep into our compassionate hearts. We feel helpless. The violence continues. It is ugly and repulsive to hear about or see. No one should be exposed to these horrible things. That is the sad and bitter reality of our world. Many have not yet learned to resolve their differences and live in peace, to put away hatred and learn to love and accept one another.
If we live each day in fear then darkness wins over us. What can we do to not feel helpless? How can we defeat the darkness which seeks to consume all the love in us?
We have the most powerful weapon available to us. In I Corinthians, chapter 13, verses four through eight, we are told what it looks like. It is patient. It is not envious. It is not puffed up. It is not rude. It is not self-serving. It is not quick to become angry or resentful. It is not glad about injustice, but rejoices in the truth. It bears, believes, hopes and endures all things. It never ends. It is love (New English Translation).
Today and every day, let us defeat all the terrible news we hear about ISIS and all acts of injustice, racial intolerance, prejudice and inequality with our love. Let us each do what we can offering our outstretched hands of love to all who need us.
The words of the apostle Paul spoken over two thousand years ago to the Christians at Corinth are as relevant today as they were then. Love is greater than faith and hope combined because love gives us the strength to hope and the faith to believe, when reason and logic says not to. Love goes on giving to others. Hate for others whether in thought, word or deed is a venomous poison. Hate will cause its own slow and painful death to any joy, any love that is in you.
The poison of the hate of Islamic extremists grew over many years. One generation taught another to hate and to judge. It created its own cancer as it spread to their children, who grew up to teach their children, that it would be their life’s mission, to harm and kill those who are their enemies.
Let us stop hating, so seeds of hatred don’t get a chance to grow in us. Forgive those who have hurt you. Give those who have harmed you the opportunity to be forgiven. Don’t let hate get the victory over you.
Let us all let God’s love in, so all hate in us will die.