I never really thought it would happen. I don’t know if anyone really did. Yet, the most recent American elections played out like the script for some rags-to-riches underdog movie. Except the underdog had never really known rags and didn’t stand for the other underdogs.
Many people I know were shocked, confused, and scared following Trump’s election. He stood for things we thought that Western society had moved past. Minorities felt uncertain about their futures in America. Everyday Americans felt the right to abuse those who were different because they “had a new president now.” Was this the “great” America that Trump envisioned?
I don’t know. I hope not.
What I see now is a whole lot of hate. Hate towards Muslims. Hate towards the LGBTQ community. Hate for people who voted for Trump, or Hilary, or who didn’t vote at all. And while I may vehemently disagree with many of President Trump’s policies and personal actions, I find the reaction to be even worse. Especially from the Christian community.
I’m going to just come out and say it. For the Christian, and for peace-seekers everywhere, there is no room in our lives for hate toward anyone. Full stop.
No matter how offended we are by someone, God is more offended. Not only by them, but by us. Each of us has fallen short of God’s eternal glory and our very lives are a result of His mercy and grace. We have turned away from a perfect God, and He allows us to continue living because He loves us.
And He loves the person who offended or hurt you, too.
When we truly come face to face with our own failings and shortcomings, we realize that we are just as needing of God’s grace as those who persecute us. I shudder to think what the world would be like if I had God’s ability to rain down wrath from the skies. I am not composed of love and holiness. The world would not be a good place if I was in charge. Different, but definitely not better.
And if that’s not enough to convince you, remember that Christ commanded His followers to love those who hate them and pray for those who persecuted them. He tells us to give to those who steal from us, to work harder from those who demand from us, and to allow others to abuse us without reciprocation. In other words, to act like Christ.
Now, we are allowed, and I would argue are expected, to hate injustice, oppression, and evil. Social structures that harm people should be fought, politicians should be held to a high standard of integrity, and crime should be brought to justice. But throughout all of this, we are not to hate those who do us harm. There is no room for hate.
So please, create art that attacks social evils. Shine light into the dark areas of our world and expose those who oppress the helpless. Stand up for those who can’t stand up for themselves and hold back the darkness that threatens our world. But do it out of love for those who are hurt, and those who are doing the hurting. The victims are not the only people who need redemption.
Let’s fill the world with love, for no great good has ever come from hate.