We live in such a broken world. Hurt, hate, death and destruction is nothing new but it feels as though we are on this downward slide with no end in sight. As tensions mount and violence escalates, a huge division seems to be overtaking peace and love.
A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. – John 13:34
Good or bad, right or wrong, we are to love each other. It’s that simple.  We don’t have to approve of lifestyles. It doesn’t matter if skin tone is different from ours. We aren’t asked to be judge or jury for a person’s character. We have to love one another. That is why my heart breaks for families of slain police officers, for families of those killed by police, and for our nation as a whole. We all have an opinion on the matter and most are quick to share how they think each situation should have been handled, how unfair the outcome or what should be done to prevent more of these acts.  It’s easy to be an armchair quarterback. It’s easy to sit on the sidelines soaking up the partial details or half-truths reported by journalists, add in rumor or speculation, and then call it fact. It’s also easy to disseminate information in an irresponsible way. There was an article written by a pastor suggesting law enforcement stand down in light of two very public deaths by police officers. I strongly disagree and can’t even begin to imagine that as a viable solution. Instead, maybe the media should stand down. News outlets today have to compete with so many voices demanding our attention. They thrive on sensationalism to grab us. Instead of balanced, unbiased reporting of actual relevant facts, we’re often given controversial headlines that have nothing to do with the content of the story and the truth is buried so far down, it’s often missed. But ‘shock and awe’ makes money.  It can also elicit strong emotions and even fear. Before we let the media dictate what we should think or how we should feel, we should remember…
There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love. – 1 John 4:18
We need to unplug from the world and plug into the Word more often. Before we post to social media, we should hit our knees in prayer. And before we open our mouths or set our fingers typing, we need to be sure our words (and hearts) are full of love. That’s the only way we can begin to heal and lessen the divide.

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