I like to read the news. I am sort of embarrassed to admit this, but I sometimes listen to talk radio. I like to know what is going on in our crazy, jacked up world. There are days when I just have to stop reading, listening or watching the news. It just becomes depressing. I find myself often asking, “How does someone get that jacked up?”. Sometimes, I find myself overwhelmed by a sense of hopelessness, or more often helplessness. I see so much pain, hate, and injustice that I’m not sure I can touch and then I just get, numb.
I had a conversation a few months ago that shook me out of that numb. I believe it was right after the mass shooting in Orlando. As the world struggled to once again wrap our minds around the violence and loss of life, there was another emotion that my friend couldn’t shake. She texted me and said, “I struggle to believe in God when I see all this hate.” I’m guessing over the past few years you too have had this emotion.
As a Christian, we try to pretend we don’t ever have these doubts. That’s false and unhealthy. God’s not that worried about our doubts. Our doubts don’t offend him. The interesting thing about truth is that if you believe your doubts and honestly chase them down, they will eventually arrive back at truths front door. So God, what’s up with all this hate? Before we cross-examine God, I’ve got a question for us. This is the same question I texted to my friend. “Why does all the hate bother you?”
We are complex, us human beings. We have deeply felt emotions and reactions, but it isn’t very often that we ask ourselves WHY. Why do I feel so deeply that hate is wrong and love is the highest law? Is there something innate and primal within me as a human being that knows this is true? Do other created beings feel this way? I’m guessing no. For instance, if we read a story about our neighbor eating another human being, we would be like WHAT? How can someone be so deprived and so demented and full of hate for others?
However, if Lions, Tigers or Bears had news station and they read a headline that said, “Lion eats baby deer and says it was tasty”, the animal world would not be in an uproar. They would see no evil or hate in these actions. We are different. We don’t eat each other. When we kill each other, something deep within us says, “this is not why we were created”. Even if we don’t know why something within us knows we were created to love. Somehow we know that hate is not natural for us. For us to be human, in all its fullness, is to love and love deeply.
The Scriptures make it amazingly clear that “God is love.” Love is God’s most primal attribute. What God creates in His image He creates with and for love. The Scriptures tell us that we and we alone are “created in the image of God.” Human beings are created by and for love. Therefore, when we see other human beings acting in defiance and contradiction to our created design our souls cry out.
If all of that is true, then our conclusion could be, “my natural and negative reaction to hate and injustice, stirs a deeper belief in love. Therefore, I believe even more in God.” He has made us to love and when we see the opposite our souls know it.
So, why doesn’t God stop all the hate? To stop all the hate in the world, God would have to stop all the love. God has taken a massive risk with love. He has entrusted us with the ability to choose. He could take the capacity to love away from us. He could make us robots, but I’ll take the love.
Here’s what my friend and I concluded: when we see hate, we are more motivated to love. Maybe, just maybe, if the hateful act of one human being acting out against their created design can inspire millions of others of us to choose more love, than maybe, just maybe love will eventually win again?
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