featured graphic for Pastor Mike McKay and his wife Kristi of Neighborhood Church

Love can change a climate of hate

Proverbs 10:12 Hatred stirs up strife, but love covers all offenses.

We have seen way too much hate in our world: from rants of angry mobs, to detestable words from irate posts, to name calling, to public hate-speech meant to sway opinion, to open venting of deep seated anger. It’s not only hurtful but brings on more conflict. What we need is the blessing of love. See, hatred holds on, love lets go. Hatred focuses on the negative, love brings in the positive. Hatred pushes buttons, love seeks peace. Hatred name-calls, love affirms. Hatred points out flaws, love brings out achievements. Hatred seeks to harm, love seeks to heal. As love is practiced, the mistakes of life can be walked through and can even be steps of growth.

1 Peter 4:8 Above all, keep loving one another earnestly, since love covers a multitude of sins.

One of the keys where love can change a climate of hate is to be mindful of anger.

Proverbs 19:11 Good sense makes one slow to anger, and it is his glory to overlook an offense.

Let that verse resonate for a bit. “Slow to anger,” it does make good sense to not pop off. “To overlook an offense,” that takes even more self-control. So, let’s talk about being slow to anger. In Proverbs 19:11 the Hebrew wording actually reads; an intelligent person restrains their anger. We have all experienced anger and it is good to learn how to process through those intense feelings so they do not take over.

Proverbs 14:29 Whoever is slow to anger has great understanding, but he who has a hasty temper exalts folly.

Proverbs 16:32 Whoever is slow to anger is better than the mighty, and he who rules his spirit than he who takes a city.

Ephesians 4:26 Be angry and do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger.

Managing anger is a lifelong discipline. Sometimes it takes help from a counselor or mentor. Yet, acting in a loving way helps.

1 Corinthians 13:4-8 Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrong-doing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends.

Love is a choice to act in a loving way. In the craziness of our big family, there are squabbles and conflicts at times. When the 10 little cousins all get together, there will be the tears of not sharing, being excluded, things not going as one planned, and the occasional mean words. These are all opportunities where love can change the climate, and all can experience amazing joy and peace of the covering of love. When one gets excluded, an adult steps in and affirms that love includes because love covers. When a mean word is shared, the hurt it caused is explained, and saying sorry and giving forgiveness is taught, and love covers. When expectations don’t get met and frustration builds, help to see the positive and fun regardless is revealed, and love covers. Love does make a difference. It can make a difference in a home, a place of work, a school, a city, a county, a nation, and a world!

Church is a wonderful place to learn of and grow in covering love. If you do not already have a church to attend, we would like to invite you to view or visit Neighborhood Church. We are a fun, welcoming church and would love for you to connect with us! Our website has all the information you need for times and locations of all our Sunday gatherings. You can also find us online at neighborhoodchurch.com. As well, if you would like to view any of our past worship gatherings or videos, visit our YouTube channel, or just search Neighborhood Church Cypress or Neighborhood Church Los Alamitos on their YouTube site.