Kids and teens get a bad rap about being stubborn or difficult, however, I think adults have them beat. Trying to get folks to do what you want can get very seductive, manipulative and even malicious as an adult. With kids and teens, they are testing boundaries and finding themselves in the world. Adults most often have lost that sense of curiosity and discovery and have grown a rather large, stubborn ego.
What really makes us think we can make others do anything? Dale Carnegie said, “A man convinced against his will is of the same opinion still.” The real irony is that we don’t let anyone “make” us do anything we don’t want to do. This thought came to me after observing two separate interactions in an office between two different sets of people on the same day. Interestingly enough, there was also another round of the shooting of civilians followed by the shooting of police officers this same week.
Could these incidents be the result of a power struggle? Maybe that is too strong of a term, but everyone has the need to feel acknowledged. To feel like they are correct/right. To feel like they are loved. So the bible did state it rightly when it said “Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another.” 1 John 4:11 KJV
Now, let’s talk ‘hate’ and ‘fear.’ They are the two words used a lot in the race conversation throughout history and even now with #blacklivesmatter. Hate defined by Cambridge Dictionary is “to strongly dislike someone or something.” Fear is defined by the same as “a strong emotion caused by great worry about something dangerous, painful, or unknown that is happening or might happen.” Two strong emotions that can be experienced together but are not exactly the same thing.
This is where I get controversial (read ‘spark conversation’).
Many Christians abhor the mention of metaphysics (affirmations, mediation, etc). I was raised to ‘hate’ such things (Amos 5:15 – “Hate evil, and love good”). But I’ve always been curious and I believe that understanding combats hate. Plus, if God’s got my back, why do I fear what I do not understand? And why can’t I try to understand it? Gaining an understanding doesn’t mean I have to become whatever that ‘thing’ is.
What I have thus far learned is that many metaphysical teachers believe that love is the opposite of fear, not hate, and hate is born out of that fear. I also came across an article that gives a good discourse about love and hate vs fear in the bible. However, I do find this article serves to prove my point, that we humans need a lesson in love we can apply to our daily living; or maybe a reminder to be loving in our daily interactions. The article discusses the biblical definition of love vs hate – love good, hate evil; totally makes sense. Yet, so many (Bible believers) don’t love our fellow human beings that look/act/believe different from us and act with a “strong dislike.” Isn’t that the definition of hate? Aren’t we supposed to hate the sin, but love the sinner?
This is where metaphysics can help us bridge the gap and be a better human (read ‘Christian’). What makes you dislike someone you never had an interaction with? Something you heard somewhere? Something you’ve seen? Something you assume? This dislike is then born out of fear (refer to the definition above). This is where taking love as the opposite of fear can turn the tide from hate. I am in no way discounting the biblical explanation of love vs hate, but let’s not get it mixed up like we have with legal marriage vs biblical marriage. Love can be the opposite of both fear and hate; it’s definitely the antidote to both.
Let me relay a story.
I was pulled over by a police officer and his first comment to me was “You did XYZ!” Since it wasn’t a question, I didn’t know what to respond with. I honestly don’t recall much more of the conversation because he seemed so angry, made a reference to what I’m guessing is a popular term for what he said I did (I’d never heard it) and off he want to write my tickets. Admittedly, I first felt a tinge of fear because he seemed upset and I’m not sure if any words would have been right at the moment in time. And for a brief moment, I had that strong emotion of dislike for him. Until I realized that I didn’t do anything to warrant his attitude and responding with a combative (read ‘hateful or fearful’) attitude would not have helped in anyway.
This just happened to be a situation between myself and a police officer. However, how many times do we encounter such situations with a variety of people – at work, school, even at home? Someone is reacting to something in their life and we just happen to be the person there at that time. I hope in those situations we choose to pro-act with love and not react with fear or hate.
I think church has done a poor job of teaching Christians how to really love. Real love only comes from a personal relationship with the one who is LOVE. I take no pleasure in saying that I’ve experience more love from non-christians who have a “connection with the universe”. The people who should be filled with light and love are oftentimes just caught in tradition, missing out on the ‘personal relationship’ part of the equation. The upside is that church is supposed to be a hospital for sinners so at least they are in the right place; but that’s a whole other post. First, let us learn to love from the One who loved us best.
Second, as a living, breathing person, we want respect, admiration, acceptance, kindness and on and on and on. Basically, we want to feel loved. Then according to the bible AND the Law of attraction, the things you want are what you MUST give. It’s the only way to get the love, respect, admiration, etc. It can be hard to do when you are on the receiving end of mistreatment, but it gets easier with practice, I promise. And if you believe that God is who He says He is, you should have enough faith to ask for the compassion and love you should display as a Christian, and believe you will get it.
So, if you want good things in your life, good things you must give. Let’s practice!
Matthew 7:12 NLT Do to others whatever you would like them to do to you. This is the essence of all that is taught in the law and the prophets.
Luke 6:31 KJV And as ye would that men should do to you, do ye also to them likewise.
Luke 6:38 NIV Give, and it will be given to you….For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.
Simple? I hope so. For the love of humanity. And if I’ve completely lost you through this whole blog post, but you stuck around until now, hopefully this will tie it together for you. I welcome any feedback you have, with love.