It is truly disheartening that there is so much violence and hatred in our world today. School shootings, murders and missing children, all the way down to outrageous political scandals and people comparing Christians to the mentally ill, all plague our world with violence or hatred in some form. As a Christian, it can be difficult to stay kind let alone loving towards others. Showing a loving heart and mind in the midst of a violent world can seem like a huge challenge.
One scroll through Facebook and anyone can see the type of violence and hatred I’m talking about. Posts displaying hatred toward every topic under the sun can be found one after the other. One look to media and you find people spouting hatred, rudeness, and condemnation all just to show someone else how wrong they are. It’s enough to turn a warm heart cold. It’s depressing to watch the violence and hatred unfold around you, but…
There is Hope
Showing a loving heart and mind in the midst of a violent world doesn’t have to be a obscure and difficult thing to display. It is a matter of choice! You can choose to be the one to start a ripple of change toward peace by choosing to show love instead of hate. You can choose to let the violence and hatred stop with you.
The first step to showing a loving heart and mind is to remember what actually happens when you become a Christian. Once you repent and give your life over to Christ by believing He died for your sins and rose again, defeating death to sit at the right hand of God, the Holy Spirit comes to dwell within you.
“Peter replied, ‘Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.” (Acts 2:38, NIV)
The Gift of the Holy Spirit
The next step is to understand the Holy Spirit is our helper, teacher, and guide. He has the same powers as Christ and God because he is part of the Trinity. Having him dwell within you is like having God himself living inside your mind with your soul. God in the form of the Holy Spirit lives with you everyday, every hour, every minute. He is always available to get advice from.
“But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all the truth.” (John 16:13, NIV)
The Holy Spirit guides us to truth and what we should do or how we should respond to others.
Following Guidance from the Holy Spirit
Do you remember the old abbreviation W.W.J.D.?
W.W.J.D. stands for What Would Jesus Do? In order to show a loving heart and mind in this terrible world we need to ask that very question and more. We have to let the Holy Spirit lead us to the truth.
- What would Jesus do in this particular conflict or situation?
- What is the Holy Spirit urging me to do in this situation?
- How should I respond to others according to scripture?
If you ask those questions, before you respond with feelings in the form of harsh words, the Holy Spirit, in alignment of God’s will and backed by scripture, will guide you to the best way to respond to any situation. The problem is that human beings, even Christians, don’t always ask those questions nor do they like the response they get when they do ask.
Anger is Easy
We actually like being angry don’t we? I mean, think about it for a minute. Which is easier? Get angry and say vicious words or to display love for your enemies? But, what does saying words in anger lead to? It leads to more hate and violence. It is a horrible and vicious cycle. Jesus calls us to love our enemies.
“But to you who are listening I say: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you.” (Luke 6:27-28, NIV)
This is not to say that you will agree with the actions or words of your enemies. We can disagree, but we are also called to love one another. We are called to be kind in both words and deeds.
Listen to the Holy Spirit
So how do we show a loving heart and mind when we are so angry? By listening to the Holy Spirit before we react with the negativity that floods our minds. Allow the Holy Spirit to speak to you through scripture and prayerful meditation so that you might be able to understand how to react in a peaceful loving way instead of through anger.
Anger is typically the first reaction we run to when we think that someone has done something wrong or has hurt us in some way. By taking a moment to listen to the Holy Spirit before we react and spout out more harsh words, the Holy Spirit will remind us that we are to love our enemies. We are to show others love and kindness.
If we actually listen, the Holy Spirit will guide us to the right words to show kindness even though we are still standing up for what we believe in. If you feel you need to use curse words, degrading comments, or outright hateful language, then you have not truly listened to the Holy Spirit. Speaking to others in that way you are contributing to the problem of hate and violence in our world.
What’s Your Choice?
Are you going to choose to listen to the Holy Spirit and allow him to guide you to words and actions of peace and love?
Or, are you going to continue to beat yourself and others up with words of anger and hatred?
Are you going to let the violence and hatred stop with you?
Or, are you going to contribute to the problem of hatred and violence?
Just imagine what would happen if you spoke only words of love. You could start a ripple effect. Others would be more inclined to speak to you peacefully. The more we show others love and kindness, the more love and kindness is in the world. I don’t know about you, but I would rather have more love and kindness in the world than the alternative. Showing a loving heart and mind in the midst of a violent world is always the better option.
It is my deepest and most sincere prayer that more people choose the option of showing a loving heart and mind through the guidance of the Holy Spirit and bring more peace into this world.