“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.” – 1 Corinthians 13:4-7
Last week, I unloaded a heavy weight on you. It was never my intent to use this platform as a soapbox, but when I see and hear so many people verbally castrate brothers, sisters, relatives, friends and even foes, it’s time to step up to the podium.
Speak love. Can I drop the mike now? I wish I could, but those two words are the meat and potatoes of this message. Passed down by my grandmother to my mom onto to us kids was a simple phrase. “If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all.” When a verbal monopolizerr thought it best to correct every comment made or squeeze every intellectual fact to prove superiority, I use to avoid them like the Bubonic plague.
Now, a new ill emerges. It carries its diatribes like a deadly flu strain, succumbing to hater dialogue to maximize full damage. Our only recourse to this divisive infection is not a silent antidote but a life well lived, a truth well told and a love well spoken.
I just want to say – you know – can we all get along?” — Rodney Glen King, May 1992.
Words well spoken from a man who attempted to calm a riot over his unjust verdict, we try and live them out as best we can in the face of adversity. But when confronted with a different type of hater — the person who would rather call you small minded than to converse with you with respect for your God-sized heart, learn ways to eliminate the hater dialogue with acts of love.
Before Paul spelled out what love entailed in his letter to the people in Corinth, he reminded them of their motivation. In 1 Corinthians 13:1 of the Amplified Bible, Paul says, “If I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love [for others growing out of God’s love for me], then I have become only a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal [just an annoying distraction].”
Hater dialogue spreads. Remember, it’s a disease that can infect us all, if we’re not careful. Therefore, vigilance becomes crucial. These days, any give-and-take discussion runs the risk of running totally out of control. Without preventive measures such as prayer and repentance, even I can find myself at the end of that exchange sniffling back a mental dialogue birthed out of frustration for the hater. I might not overtly carry the disease, but I can unknowingly become a carrier in my heart.
So it’s important to prescribe to God’s Word and inject myself first with “Lord, forgive me” prayers. Knowing a hater’s distain for opposition, I find peace in the One who still speaks love.
So when the dialogue of hate arise, let Love teach us what Paul shared in 1 Corinthians 13:4-7:
– Not to become envious
– Not to boast
– Not to be full of pride
– Not to dishonor others
– Not to become self-seeking
– Not to get easily angered
– Not keep a record of wrongs
– Not delight in evil
– Rejoice with the truth
– Always protect
– Always trust
– Always hope
– Always persevere
Speak Love. It’s the prayerful prescription for every ill and the deliberate dialogue that needs no words to speak volumes to the heart!