Pumping their fists in the air and marching through the streets, hundreds of people in cities all across the country from Los Angeles to New York, have been heard chanting “Love Trumps Hate.”
Predictably these protestors are upset about the results of an orderly, democratic election in the United States on Tuesday. Specifically, they are challenging the President-elect Donald Trump.
The protestors are carrying signs, “Resist.” “Not My President.” “Abolish the electoral college.” “Love Trumps Hate.” And, some signs with language inappropriate for ThePreachersWord.
While the protests for the most part have been peaceful, some have turned ugly. There has been some violence. Property destruction. And looting. Streets and freeways have been blocked. And our President-elect has been cursed with obscene epitaphs.
The protestors might be well advised to follow the lead of their candidate, Hillary Clinton, who in her concession speech Wednesday, urged her supporters to accept Trump as the new President. She said that we are “stronger together.” And reminded her followers that we are “one nation.”
Furthermore, President Obama, who campaigned with very strong language against Trump said, “Everybody is sad when their side loses an election, but the day after, we have to remember that we’re actually all on one team. This is an intramural scrimmage.” Obama added, “We’re not Democrats first. We’re not Republicans first. We are Americans first. We’re patriots first. We all want what’s best for this country.”
But aside from the concessions of Clinton and Obama and the admitted legitimacy of the election, there is an irony at work here. They are promoting a principle that is Biblical. Jesus taught it. Yet, many of those shouting “Love Trumps Hate,” are themselves advancing hate with their attitudes, words and actions. In His Mountain message Jesus commanded us to love others, even our adversaries.
“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. For if you love those who love you, what reward have you? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? And if you greet your brethren only, what do you do more than others? Do not even the tax collectors do so? Therefore you shall be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect. (Matt 5:43-48)
Yes, love trumps hate, but it is demonstrated by blessing instead of cursing. Doing good, not evil. Praying instead of vilifying. Promoting peace rather than discord.
Love trumps hate when it is demonstrated in specific attitudes and actions that seek the welfare of others. Consider these 15 qualities that define what love really does.
“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 wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends.” (1 Cor 13:4-8).
Love is not some abstract idea. Or a philosophy. Or an emotional reaction. Love is definitely not about demanding our way. Or behaving like a spoiled child. Love is not rebellious. Divisive. Or dismissive. And it absolutely is not reflected in crude chants. Crass actions. Or by carrying coarsely worded signs.
Love Trumps Hate.
We would ALL be well advised to remember that. Especially followers of Jesus Christ.
–Ken Weliever, ThePreacherman