Jo’s Journal: Love is the Answer
Hate only fuels more hate
by Joanne Troppello
I believe that one of the greatest gifts we can give someone is love.
Love is the greatest gift that God gave us when he sent His son, Jesus to die on the cross to restore our relationship with Him.
“And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love.” (I Corinthians 13:13, NKJV)
With the coronavirus and quarantine life, many of us haven’t been around others—aside from our family—except if we’ve been out grocery shopping or taking a walk to get fresh air after being cooped up in the house so long. We haven’t had a chance to interact with others and show love and kindness.
However, we still have the opportunity to cultivate positive relationships with our family members we live with and those friends and extended family members that we are in contact with through email, calls, and video chats. We have the chance to bring light to the darkness when we show love to strangers we encounter when we go outside and those we interact with online.
There is so much division in our country today with protests and riots. We can do our part to make a difference.
I understand that the media thrives on showing all the negativity in the world. I watch the news only once a day to get the daily updates on the coronavirus and what’s happening.
However, that can get discouraging and quickly cause me to lose focus on how God wants me to trust Him through this time—and continue to choose love in all my responses.
You have influence in the world
We all have influence in this world. Each action we take can spark a fire—which can be positive or negative. Each day I try to be a positive influence. However, I’m only human like everyone else and there are days that I don’t have much positivity to share.
Several months ago, I registered the hashtag #CCOTOnFire on Twubs. People can use this hashtag in their tweets on Twitter when sharing prayer requests, praise reports, and uplifting news with others who can pray with them and want to hear good news.
I hope you choose to love instead of hate.
I totally understand that we will never please every person all the time. Some people are unreasonable or ignorant on certain subjects and won’t listen to common sense and reason.
However, I still believe that we need to try to keep hope alive and make a difference where we can. Hopefully, if we continue to bring positivity into situations that are negative, we can change some minds. Of course, this will not always work, and sometimes you need to walk away because you cannot reason with unreasonable people.
However, if we all give up hope of ever making a difference in this world, where will that leave us? It will leave us in a dark place where hatred wins out over love. We rise by lifting others up, not tearing them down.
You can make a difference
You can accomplish even more than you think of when trying to change the world for the better. Sure, it is hard to make a difference, but it is worth it in the end. Please keep trying to show love and help others in need—even if all you can do is share a smile with them or lend a listening ear.
1. Take personal responsibility for your actions
Grow into an emotionally intelligent person who knows how to respond and not react. You can move further along in life when you realize that your behavior has consequences. Stop complaining and be thankful for what you do have. Try to work hard and make your life better. Seek solutions, not all the reasons why you cannot love others.
2. Be a light in the world
We need more people to choose love over hate and kindness over disrespect. Sure, there will always be people with hard hearts and those who choose a darker path. However, each choice you make for good can bring more light into our hurting world.
I totally understand that being on social media can test your patience. We all enjoy positive interactions with others—even those we disagree with—but sometimes we need to choose our battles. I choose not to engage with unreasonable people.
3. It takes a big-minded person to be open to new ideas
A small-minded person is too focused on the impossibilities. Always stay open to learning new things. It’s important to try to understand new ideas, even if you can’t agree with them. We can bridge the gap back to civility that way.
We must stop talking at and about people but start talking to them.
Choose love, not hate
Remember that a little kindness can go a long way.
You may not feel like it, but you are valuable. Maybe you don’t feel loved.
Know this—God loves you.
He sent His Son to die on a cross for you. Even if you were the only person on earth, Jesus still would have died for you. Trust me, you are dearly loved.
Previously published in Medium.
About the Author
Joanne Troppello is an author, writer, and poet. She is the publisher of the online Christian lifestyle magazine, Mustard Seed Sentinel.