I grew up with the sound of “All You Need is Love” and tried in my young heart to understand what that means in a world of abject poverty. Then in the middle of the Jesus Movement, I sang along with the Maranatha Singers, “They’ll Know We Are Christians by Our Love,” and thought I knew what they meant. Today, I have no song to bring me back to love as I watch what’s happening in the world.
As I sit here viewing the riots in the streets and people breaching the capital, I don’t know if the world will know us by our love or righteous anger.
Capital police stomped on by people with Jesus signs on their sweatshirts. The American Flag a baton against those sworn to protect. Violence in their fury and rebel yells in the capital are all I see.
Then I remember – there’s no victory in the rebel yell or love in angry words.
But I still have unanswered questions. How do we love the unlovable who screams in the pew that life is not fair? How do we love others who shun us for our political opinions when they’re not their own? How do we find mercy in our soul when confronted with hate or intolerance?
Take names and call the police!
I don’t think so.
You might think it’s a copout if I said, It would be a copout to say, “Let’s just stop, breathe, and pray.” But to be honest with you, I had to do that, and it made all the difference in the world.
It’s wasn’t easy, but I know that we need to stop the chatter in our heads that tells us to lash out or even give them a piece of our mind.
I stopped to remember Jesus said nothing to His persecutors. If they know we are Christians by our love; then we need to put on the love of Christ.
They may say we’re blind, idealist, and maybe even a dreamer. They may call us ignorant and naïve, and they may even call us many names. But because of God’s love implanted in our hearts, we can stop and let His love have its way.
The principles we stand by are love, mercy, and forgiveness. Our life honestly consists more of our Christianity than our political leaning. Our citizenship is in heaven, and our Governor is the Prince of Peace. Let’s act like it.
Love is patient; love is kind; love is not envious or boastful or arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice in wrongdoing, but rejoices in the truth. It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things… And now faith, hope and love abide, these three; and the greatest of these is love. I Corinthians 13:4-7 and 13
Let us stop, breathe, and pray.
Stop and take a deep breath. Patiently seek the word of God: breathe in the breath of God and exhale the fragrance of Christ Jesus.
Walking each day in the grace of God and His Word will do something decisive to our souls… Jesus, who loves the unlovely, will give us the ability to do the same. We need only to spend time with Him to gather just what we need in a hate-filled world.
We who belong to the Lord shout the Victory to silence the rebel cry.
The Lord knows the hearts and minds of the people. We need only trust Him to work in their lives, ways, and thoughts. God is unchangeable but changes the hearts and minds of humanity. He remembers who we are.
For He knows our (mortal) frame; He remembers we are (merely) dust. Psalm 103:14 AMP
Stop, take a deep breath, and wait on the Lord.
God is still on His throne, we are still citizens of the kingdom of God, and no one or anything can separate us from His love.
Stop. Breathe. Pray
But I will trust in Your unfailing love; my heart rejoices in Your salvation. I will sing to the LORD, for He has been good to me. Psalm 13:5-6
Now, let us stop, breathe, and pray.
The words to the song “They’ll Know We Are Christians by Our Love” reminds us that we are one in the Spirit and one in the Lord. So, let us pray that our unity will one day be restored. Instead of spreading fake news on the internet, let us spread the word that God is still in our land.
Let us pray that someday we will again walk with each other hand-in-hand. Let us lift our voices to the Lord and ask that to guard each one’s dignity, so they’ll know we are Christians by our love.
Prayer is powerful to change the hearts and minds of people. We are a people called to pray. It changes our hearts and minds. In the power of secret prayer, the love of the Lord dwells in our hearts, and we are new creatures. Let us pray that His love will teach us to love the unlovely and be patient with the impatient in newness and life.
Nothing is too difficult for Him, so let us stop, breathe, and pray.
THAT SOUNDS GOOD, BUT…?
Before you say, “Well, Chris, that sounds simple and spiritual, but this is the real world.” Let me assure you that we are not the first, and we will not be the last to face hatred, misunderstanding, and unkind words. Some have gone before us. They had a choice to make things worse or stop, breathe, and pray.
We are better today for the right choice.
Turning the other cheek is not an option; it’s a move of love. Christ loved us first when we were unlovely. Christ promised not to leave us nor forsake us. We can do be known as Christians by our love because His love abides in us.
In the face of hate, turn to Jesus. In the secret of His presence, let’s allow our souls to find peace. Let His voice silences the turmoil in our heart, for in the Secret Place of refuge, as we lay our burdens down, He lifts His love to our Spirit and makes us new again.
We’ve stopped, breathed, and prayed. Watch what happens; they’ll know we are Christians by our love!
The Lord is near. Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving, let your request be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus. Phil 4:4b-7
Heavenly Father! Thank You for the dawn of a new day and Your sovereign hand bringing goodness, mercy, and love. In the storm of hate, you give us love. The world still demands my attention and the enemy of my soul strategically plans to destroy my love for You in my heart. But I choose – I choose You, and in You, I am safe to love others as you have loved me. Thank you for showing me how to stop, breathe, and pray in times like this. Here I am, Lord, thank You for answered prayer. Amen.
Christine is a wife, mother, minister, and retired Army Officer whose passion is to see women amazed in knowing God intimately. Once she was lost, alone, hopeless, helpless and homeless Christine is now on a journey to the heart of God. She longs to make the invisible God visible to hearts and minds.
Read Christine’s articles HERE.
Learn more at www.christinemalkemes.com