If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing. Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. I Corinthians 13:1-8 NIV
Until we understand how important it is to love others–we will always cringe when we hear the news of another shooting–compelled by hate.
If we do not understand God’s unconditional love and refuse to receive it, we are unable to love others, for we cannot give what we do not have.
Unconditional love–loves regardless of what others look like, how they think or what they do. Unconditional love does not condone sin or evil, but loves beyond it. When we know Love–for God is Love–we correct those who need correction and chastise those who need it–out of love–not hatefulness.
Parents should love their children unconditionally, but compel them to adhere to rules established to protect them and help them to become productive, responsible adults. When children are not corrected and allowed to think they should have everything they want, they become spoiled brats, prone to throwing tantrums in order to get their way. If the behavior is not corrected, they become bratty adults who throw tantrums when things don’t go their way.
Husbands and wives should love each other (beyond lust)–no matter what–committed to the relationship and determined to do what is right for each other and the rest of the family.
Siblings should love one another and support each other in all things that are right and honest.
Those who love The Lord should never meet a stranger even though some strangers do not know how to love.
We should all be filled with compassion when we see injustice and sorrow in others. If we are filled with love, we are able to allow that love to overflow onto others without hatred or bigotry and certainly without fearmongering since where there is love–fear cannot dwell.
When are we–as human beings–going to figure it out? Hate is not overcome with more hate; only love can combat evil and turn things around for good.
For the sake of our children’s future–and our present–please–let us learn to love–receiving God’s love and allowing His love to overflow–from us to others and stop the violence!