Are Riots Justifiable?

Racism is something I never understood. I was born in Brasil, but raised “around”. My military dad travelled a lot so part of my childhood was spent in France, US and Brasil and I had a black nanny, which is my 2nd mom. So maybe I’m not the typical person that was raised in anger against another race and for that reason it is very, very hard for me to understand racism. And I guess I have “genetically” infused this sentiment into my daughters. My older one was six (some 14 years ago) and I was reading her a book about the differences in the human race. Tall, short, skinny, fat, red hair, blond hair, black, white, yellow … then she interrupted me (remember she was six) and asked:

Daughter: “But Dad, what is the color of their hearts?”

Dad: “Red, I guess. They all have a red heart”

Daughter: “Well, then people are not different, after all”

So if we are all the same, why do people hate each other? Moreover, why would Christians hate at all? When Jesus was asked “Of all the commandments, which is the most important?” Mark 12:28

The most important one,” answered Jesus, “is this: ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.”  Mark 12:29-31

The Coronavirus situation has amplified anger in ways I’ve never seen before. And anger just generates anger. So riots will only generate more riots, more violence, more discord. So Christians are called to amplify the word of God as never before. We can’t bend and hide now. We need to raise above this turmoil and show all what the truth is that we are ONE and we are of God.

And how can we show this? By showing love, indiscriminate and all encompassing love.
Repay no one evil for evil, but give thought to do what is honorable in the sight of all. If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all.” Romans 12:17-18

And you can do it in simple ways. Instead of just liking a post on Facebook or Instagram, write a few kind words too.
Write them an encouraging short letter and email or PM someone. (Ziglar has the I like you because cards. Very powerful)
Say hi to your neighbors. 
Pet someone’s dog and praise it’s beauty.
Compliments someone’s fashion, but be sincere.
Pay for someone’s coffee or lunch.
Offer to help someone that does not need help.

Do something nice to someone and like a virus this microscopic gesture, in the big scheme of things, will grow and eventually infect the whole world with love. But you need to be persistent and you need to be consistent.

Remember 1 Corinthians 13:4-8 (my favorite Bible verse) “Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not [b]puffed up; does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails.” 

What is one simple thing you can do to show love and appreciation to someone? I would like to see your comments. Be blessed.

How Successful People Use Delayed Gratification

Delayed gratification is the process of postponing small “rewards” to “save up” for a bigger reward. The easiest example is money. Successful people save. Successful people understand that $10 here $10 dollars there will add up and if you hold off on senseless spending you will have money for much bigger things.

Dave Ramsey talks a lot about Delayed Gratification. One of his examples is to buy an old and beat up car, not have car payments for 4 or 5 years and save up to buy the car you want cash, no financing. Easier said than done, right? And I know the sales people are jumping up and down with rage about this because people perceive you by how you look, especially in sales where driving a luxury car is almost mandatory, even if you are dead broke. (Someone in sales disagree? Would love to have your opinion about this).

Another example is the marshmallow experiment. You put a bunch of 4 to 6 years old in a room, you give them one marshmallow and you tell If they refrain from eating it you are going to give them 2 marshmallows later, but if they eat it, they won’t  be rewarded. It’s fun to watch the little kids itching to eat the marshmallow because they can’t really see or process the future reward. They just want the reward now! What if it does not happen in the future? I can have this little thing right now and I’ll be happy. Why wait for something that may or may not happen? I don’t know what the future holds? I don’t even know if I’ll be alive tomorrow, why should I deprive myself of this simple pleasure now?

Now, what does this have to do with a Christian Blog? (Read Isaiah 40:30-31) Everything. Delayed Gratification is what successful Christians should practice, and no I’m not talking about driving a beat up car your whole life. I’m talking about sin. Just like the marshmallow, sin happens when you can’t see or believe in a future reward from God. We all know what is good and Godly, but we sin because this little “pleasure” now is in reach, is tangible while the long term gain is not. Food perhaps is the most abused little pleasure that exists. Its “cheap” is readily available everywhere and no one will condemn you for having a little treat. 

My battle is with processed sugar. Ice cream, cake, chocolate, however you want to disguise it is delicious, pleasurable and truly feels like a reward. The problem is it does not last at all AND it harms my body. I have mild (very mild) arthritis. And every time I do a sugar fast my joints feel much better. And I spoke with nutritionists and doctors that confirmed the fact that sugar is highly inflammatory, yet I can’t seem to be able to stop eating it. Why? Because I can’t really see or I don’t allow myself to see the long term reward versus the little pleasure I’m going to get out of it.

I let the enemy dupe me with that crap talk above from the marshmallow experiment. Oh is just a little chocolate, I’m stressed, I’m tired, I’m this or that and this little piece of chocolate will make me feel better, and it does! But it is in detriment to my health. But because the harm is so faint, so long term is hard to BELIEVE in it. And this is the whole point. Until you don’t BELIEVE in it you won’t fight or embrace it.

So in order to fight sin you have to believe that this is something bad, that sin upset’s God and that sin may prevent you from going to heaven. If you keep believing that “God’s grace will forgive me for all my sin and God loves me and is patient with my wrong doing” you really will never stop doing it.

I never quite understood what “in fear of God” meant. Why should we fear God? God is love, we should never fear God. But this is not what it means. It means respect God, it means I better put my best behaviour forward, always. I need to “police” my actions and thoughts because I don’t want to upset the guy. Read Romans 3:9-18

But how do we know what is harmful when it is not absolutely clear? How do we know that we should or should not do something? Really simple. If you want to live a Godly life the ONLY question you need to ask is: “Does it glorify God?”

If you don’t quite know if the action you are about to take is selfish, harmful or demeaning just ask yourself, will this Glorify God or just satisfy me? Ideally it should do both, right? But if it only helps you … 

So, what are the actions you are taking to Glorify God in your life? Would love to hear your thoughts.

Dealing With Difficult People

They are everywhere! At the groceries store, on the roads (disrespecting your right of way), at work and even at home. It is irritating and sometimes infuriating. Psychology defines a difficult person as having  many of the following characteristics: selfish, the owner of truth, remorseless, addicted to bad behaviour, rude, not a team player … in summary an a**h**e.

But sometimes this troublemaker is your relative, your child! I have two that constantly wobble between the categories of angels and a**h**es. Sometimes (sometimes) I just want to spend quality time with them, but they rather be with friends or watch YouTube videos. Or when I’m cooking dinner and I like their help but they are “too busy” doing homework.  And do I have to ask my daughters to help clean the table after dinner, everytime, several times, while they “lounge on tick tock”, every single dinner? Or when someone tells you, you can count on them for a job and bails out the very last minute? Or when you do bless someone with a favor and they don’t acknowledge your efforts? Or when they see you need help but choose to ignore you? And the worst, you give them a gift and they openly don’t care about it. You know that person you dread buying anything for because they will sneer at you?

Let’s look at sports now. Think you are the head coach and you need to pick your team, are you going to pick the very talented but extremely difficult (a**h**e) athlete OR the one that plays for the team, works with you to improve and gives you assurance that he or she will be there for you no matter what?

Important to remember that while dealing with difficult people: “See that no one repays anyone evil for evil, but always seek to do good to one another and to everyone.1 Thessalonians 5:15

Psychology today has a good article (click here) on how to deal with difficult people, but I’m not going to spend time on this. I wanted to make a point about difficult people. They disregard you. Are we on the same page about difficult people?

So here is my question to you, how difficult are you to God?
What do you do when God wants to spend time with you?

Have you ever helped God prepare dinner for his less fortunate kids?
Does God have to ask you to help “clean whatever” every day, do you have the initiative to help Him?
Can God count on you for a job?

Do you acknowledge God’s blessings and favors daily?
Have you ever offered God help?

Do you sneer at God’s gifts?

So, how difficult are you to God? As His child, are you behaving like and angel or an a**h**e?

If you Love God your father and you believe God can give you anything you want, “ If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for youJohn 15:7 why aren’t you being less difficult? What behavior can you change to please God more? Do you want to be on God’s team?

Be thankful, be present and be joyous of His presence, always. Be less difficult to Him and I assure you His blessings will pour into your life.

Is Anger a Good Thing?

For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth”. Romans 1:18

Can you imagine if the powers that be would understand that suppressing the truth angers God? How current this is for the times we live in … I digress.

The bible is filled with passages where God is angry, but we also have been told that we need to love everyone all the time. Is this an oxymoron? Could anger be a Godly emotion? Could anger be of any good, after all?

Let me tell you a story; When I was young (a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away …) I used to run 4 to 6 miles 3 to 5 times per week. Then I got married, moved to the US and worked as a computer programmer sitting down from 12 to 18 hrs per day 6 days per week.

When I turned 50 I realized how out of shape I was and decided to pick up running again. It took me 5 years to go from almost dying after walking 100 yards to running a 5k in 36 minutes, which is the average for my age group. 

And many of you know marriage is the ultimate test of patience and anger management one can endure, and I have been to the test for over 22 years. Most of the time we are good but sometimes we get really angry. It was one of those days I had PMS (my wife’s explanation for my wrath) steam blasting out of my ears and I heard God tell me: “Go for a run”.

I don’t want to run now, I just want to be angry! But I complied. Got my running shoes and darted out. I ran a 5k in 33 minutes and 18 seconds, completely obliterating any other records. This is a 15 to 20 years younger age group 5k time! And then it hit me: “Could anger be used for good things?”

There are emotions that athletes identify to help them, being anger by far the most common. But it is a fine balance. In competitive sports if you get angry at your opponent you lose objectivity, but if you get angry at yourself, then you push harder, you will go further and most importantly FEAR subsides. 

When I was running a 5k in 36 minutes I feared that I would pass out or bust a knee or something stupid if I pushed harder, until I got angry and fear disappeared. 

If you fear your future, you won’t face it. If you are complacent with your present you won’t push yourself harder. So a healthy amount of anger is key to winning. And the biggest tool the enemy has on you is doubt. Healthy anger can shatter any fear and doubt out of the way. “Just do It”.

Very important to understand is that you CANNOT violate someone else’s rights. You CANNOT! The minute your anger violates anyone’s space, rights, opinion, beliefs, etc. YOU ARE WRONG, very wrong. If you do this you are not leveraging anger to advance. You are just a bully.

“Be angry, and do not sin”: do not let the sun go down on your wrath, Ephesians 4:26 NKJV

Being angry (not mad) with a loved one or yourself can be a Godly thing.
And no, the opposite of Love is not Anger. The opposite of Love is Indifference.

Why Do People Suffer?

The Katana sword is considered one of the most rigid swords in the world. It was the ultimate weapon against the enemies at the hand of a skilled samurai. Indestructible, powerful. But to get there there is an unimaginable amount of “suffering”.

The Katana is not just a piece of metal. The Katana has 65,000 (sixty five thousand) layers. What is a layer you may ask?

To build a Katana, in the old days, it would take as many as 30 craftsmen over a full year to build one single sword. They would collect the purest materials, iron sand, carbon and charcoal then they melt those to get the first block of steel. It takes continuous forgin at very high temperatures for 72 hrs for the first block!

Then they begin folding. They fold the sword to create two layers to extract impurities and to give more strength to the metal. This steel block is put in extremely high heat and hammered thousands of times, then cooled briskly and heated, hammered and cooled again and again and again.

They fold the sword 16 times to get 65,536 layers! And then they shape, polish, sharpen and decorate to finally be a weapon against the enemy.

Why all this? Because iron in its raw form is brittle. It breaks easily, very easily. Even Steel if not purified is not strong. To become the strongest metal on earth it needs this purification and forging process.

But bcn you imagine if the iron had consciousness? Can you imagine the suffering and pain it would be going through? Put into a 1000 degree furnace, then beat up relentlessly, then cooled down violently, then heated again and pounded again and again and again. Can you imagine the iron agony while going through this process? He would be saying: “Why Lord? Why all this suffering? Why do you allow me to go through this endless suffering?

But if the iron saw how powerful it is becoming it would certainly endure the suffering with joy. If the iron understood that it was being molded to become the ultimate weapons again the enemy it would all make sense.

For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.” Romans 8:18

And we know that people that went through hell on earth but kept a positive outlook and never lost sight of their goals made big. Every self made millionaire has a story of suffering. Virtually every single one of them. And all agree that that suffering made them into the person they are today.

But what if you are like me, I don’t like suffering. I’m weak. I really don’t like to suffer. 

Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hopeRomans 5:3-4

Therefore, since Christ suffered in his body, arm yourselves also with the same attitude, because whoever suffers in the body is done with sin.” 1 Peter 4:1

We don’t have to grow only by physical suffering we also grow by helping and loving those who are suffering. By emphasising with their problems and lending them a hand you will also grow and become a powerful weapon against the enemy.

God is not unjust; he will not forget your work and the love you have shown him as you have helped his people and continue to help them”. Hebrews 6:10

So think ahead, don’t focus on the pain, the doubt the suffering.  Think how strong you are becoming and how powerful, indestructible you will become. If God has you under distress is to strengthen you. If God has put you in a painful situation is because he sees your potential. He trusts you will become his most powerful weapon against the enemy.

You Are Under Attack

A manager was leading a group of employees through a dense forest. They all had their roles. Scouts, water guards and the chainsaw leads chopping down the path for others to proceed. Everyone was happy, they all had a purpose, they all were working in harmony.

The manager decided to climb a tree to see what lays ahead. When he reached the top he was shocked! He screamed down, STOP! STOP! We are in the wrong forest!

After a while the ground team responded: “Shut up! We are making progress.”

God has a purpose for you and the enemy’s task is to divert you from this purpose in any way he can. If he can destroy you through addictions, vices, drugs, disease, it will. If it can shame you, doubt you, worry you and most certainly anger you, it will. And perhaps the most deadly form is through success. Yes, success. It can make you be busy like a bee making money but ask yourself is this success helping me bring people together? Is this success the path God planned for you?

I was very successful working in the IT industry as an international PMP Certified project manager. I would travel between the US and Europe to coordinate projects. I managed developers in India, UK and Australia and I was making 6 figures. I was successful, BUT I hated it. Something inside me was constantly telling me that this was not my purpose, certainly a part of my path but not my destination.

And I had to fight this like “hell”. Who am I to dislike this blessing? People are dying to have a job like this, and I have endless financial obligations. I have no right to dislike this job. But that pain, that doubt of “what if I did something different” would never leave me until the day I ended up losing my job. I panicked for a week then this peaceful thought entered my mind: “why don’t you explore the what if?” That was 2007 and God has been faithful ever since.

And through my new journey I became a LOT closer to Him, and I now understand that it is all about loving people. And this is how you can help others. When they look at you and they see you have confidence, joy and peace they will be drawn closer to you because ultimately this is what everyone looks for. Joy, love and peace.

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God.” 2 Corinthians 1:3-4

And the good thing is that God gives you all that freely. You just have to believe and ask.

Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit”. Romans 15:13

But blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence is in him.
8 They will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream.
It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green.
It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit
.” Jeremiah 17:7-8

So understand that the enemy’s first line of attack is your thoughts, police your thinking and you will be way ahead in your game.

Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things”. Philippians 4:8

Does God Help?

Would you play in the NFL? Run the olympics 100 dash? Build the next Amazon? Solve world poverty?

What is your wildest achievement dream?

Mine? To create films that inspire people to love, achieve their wildest dreams and honor God.

Do you believe God helps people achieve their wildest dreams? A very cited Bible verse Matthew 7:7-8

7 “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. 8 For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.

Give the impression that you just need to ask and you will get it. But that does not work, right? But if God is not lying, what is the hidden message? What is the secret?

If you are in a hurry the short answer is: God won’t give you anything that can detour you from His plan. His plan, not yours. 

And also remember we already spoke that God will fuel those who work for Him. So if you are not working towards God’s interest and it detours you from His plan, sorry it won’t happen. The good news is that God’s plan is not that complicated. He really only wants us to keep some basic things in mind and love each other and Love Him. That’s it. Really!

So how you choose to do this DOES NOT MATTER. If you want to be a filmmaker, go for it. An NFL player, great! A successful business owner? Fantastic! And God will fuel your path to more you fulfil his plan, which again is simple.

BUT HERE COMES THE HARD PART

In baseball who God helps, the pitcher or the batter? Which NFL team God helps? ( I just know He does not seem to like the Cowboys, he he). Who will God give favor to? When you ask, who do you ask? God alone? God knows what you want. How do you seek? And where do you knock?

I’ve been fortunate to film and/or interview countless successful people and the story is very similar if not identical, no matter what field they became successful at. They all tell me: Success is continuous hard work. Not victores, not brilliant inventions, just continuous hard work. And I have countless stories to tell. If you are interested, just ask me. Will be glad to tell some to you. But for the sake of this short blog Matthew 7:7-8 only works if you continually do it. Ask, seek, knock. Figure out what went wrong and Ask, seek, nock. Figure out what went wrong and Ask, seek, nock. This is called the never ending cycle of improvement or PDCA. But note this cycle HAS NO END. It is an infinite cycle that you need to master in anything you want to do. But the more proficient you become, the bigger the blessings God will pour on your path.

Going back to sports. If you don’t ask to play (be present), no one will let you. If you don’t seek to improve (learn constantly) you won’t go anywhere and if you don’t put the effort in, knock (work hard), nothing will happen. There you have it, the secret. 

Now what will you accomplish?

Do You Give Your Kids EVERYTHING They Ask For?

Pretty much every psychology book tells you that this is wrong. By giving your children everything they ask you will be spoiling them and they won’t value effort. Why work when everything is given to me? Now granted this is not the absolute rule, there are many spoiled kids out there that are doing great. But the reality is gloomy. Money magazine headlines “70% of Rich Families Lose Their Wealth by the Second Generation”  So the vast majority of kids that don’t “have to work” simply don’t until they are broke. It’s sad isn’t it? 

When you don’t instil the desire to be successful in your kids rarely they build that on their own. And being poor, while the reverse of the coin here where they don’t get anything, has an equal devastating effect. A study by the National Center for Children in Poverty at Columbia University, found that children who grew up poor were vastly more likely to experience poverty as adults. But this one is a bit more clear why. Poor families don’t value education and they find themselves in a rat race where they have to work in anything to survive. But in order to thrive you need to spend time educating yourself. Learning other skills, making connections and poor families either don’t value this or are simply under the gun. They “can’t” make room for improvements.

STOP! “ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.” John 15:7

Isn’t God telling us He is going to give us anything we want? Does not God, the most powerful being, care about his children? And this is where most people become angry and shy away from God. “It is in the Bible!!! I’ve asked for things and God did not honor his word. It’s all a lie!”

STOP again. Let’s read the whole verse: “If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.” John 15:7

There is a big catch right there. You need to remain trusting, and His words need to be the truth in your heart. I said before God is not a Genie that will grant you 3 wishes. God is a FATHER that wants to EDUCATE you. By giving everything you want most likely it won’t make you better. God wants you to LEARN how to get what you want.

If you give a man a fish you feed him for the day. If you Teach a man how to fish you will feed him for a lifetime.

The same way you want your kids to grow and be independent, so does the Father. And it is right there in the bible again:

But remember the Lord your God, for it is He who gives you the ability to produce wealth” Deuteronomy 8:18

The ABILITY to produce wealth. ABILITY, not the wealth itself. God wants you to learn how to become successful and THAT is what you need to pray for. For God to give you wisdom, skills, clarity to see ways to become successful. And He will, oh He will.

But that is exactly how the enemy holds people down. With doubt, with lack of self respect, with lack of clarity, lack of good and profitable ideas and lack of effort, by not remaining in Him and His words in you.
Lack of direction, not lack of time, is the problem. We all have twenty-four hour days.” Zig Ziglar

So don’t ask the Father for stuff, ask the Father for good ideas, clarity and energy to design and implement Goals that can truly bring lasting wealth.

Do you think teachers should be allowed to beat up kids in school?

I completely disagree, but now that I have your attention how would you feel if anyone beat up your child? Even if they had the right to, it still hurts. You don’t want to see your child suffering, do you?

As parents we give the shirt off our back to get our kids “better” however this can be. Yes, I know. Giving them everything and not reprimanding bad behavior is worse than beating up. But when we love someone we want all the best for them, especially our children.

Now let me ask you the opposite: “How would you feel if I loved your children as much as you do?” 

Everytime someone praises my kids it is as if they were showering ME with special gifts. When someone loves you something or someone as much as you do you it makes you feel even more love, right? There is an interesting quote that says:  When you say – “I Like You” – you are saying “you are like me”.

Is that not true? And when you love something or someone your brother or sister in christ loves you are  showing  “compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony” Colossians 3:12-14

And loving their children is perhaps the highest form of love. I have an interesting story from Mr. Ziglar which by the way you can watch it on Zig You Were Born To Win Documentary.

Shon kokoszka has two boys that were about 4 and 6 years old when he took them to see Mr. Ziglar. It was a Keller Williams convention where thousands of people attended. After the convention there was a VIP dinner, and Mr. Ziglar was sitting on a table with the top leaders of Keller Williams. Shon decided to come and say hi and he brought his two sons. “It’s going to be cool if Mr. Ziglar said hi to my boys”, so he thought.

Shon approached the table with his two sons one on each hand, an politely ask Mr. Ziglar for a word. Mr. Ziglar turned back to see who was calling, Shon said hi and introduced his two sons. He was looking forward to one or two kind words from Mr. Ziglar. After all, he did not want to impose on this very important dinner night. But what happened next marked those two boys for the rest of their lives.

Mr. Ziglar turned his chair back where he could be eye level with the two boys. He then began inspecting the boys. He looked behind his ears, lifted their arms, turned around and looked at their backs. Then Mr. Ziglar said this: “I knew it. I just wanted to be sure. I can spot a winner a mile away and you boys are winners!”

That made such an impact on those boys that years and years later they still think and behave as winners. And Shon? He said it was probably one of the greatest gifts he ever received. Kind words towards his children.

Now what do you think God feels when we love his children?
See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God;” 1 John 3:1

I have one last story about how God loves his children. God asked me to make a movie about the injustices of our prison system. How 80% of inmates are there on a drug charge and many solely because they don’t have money to afford a lawyer. Now, I have no connection to the prison world except my good friend Jason Cole (who opened my eyes to this). So I asked God why He wanted me to make this film? And He asked me “How would you feel if your daughter were sent to prison?” Where I said “guilty or not I would be devastated. I would be anxious everyday for their safety and mental health”. And God answered me: “That is how I feel about my children”.

Take 5 minutes and look at the trailer for the first movie about this project 

And if you want to help, please get in touch with me.

It is easy to love a little kid, but God wants us to love ALL his children. And sometimes we think to love means to hug, kiss and give gifts. But I learned from a homeless person while helping Susie Y. Jennings  from Operation care that for a homeless love can be as little as “seeing them”. I met a homeless man and he told me: “I don’t expect people to come help me, but it hurts when people pretend I don’t exist. If you make eye contact and give me a nod, that makes my day.”

If you give people a sign “I see you” it’s perhaps a great beginning for hopefully a loving and understanding relationship. What will you do to begin loving all God’s children?

Can You Love Those Who Hate You?

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”. Matthew 5:44

This is probably one of the hardest things to understand from the Bible. Love people who hate you. How can this be!? Who in it’s sane mind would love those who spitefully use and persecute you?

I struggle with this. This is not something that comes naturally for me, and I’m sure not for you either. But this is what God showed me. Let me tell you a story, I’ve been married for 22 years and as you can imagine it has not been all smooth sailing. People say,  ”wow! 22 years you must love eachother very much!”. Well, not always. There have been times where our relationship was really shaken. There have been times the pressure was so intense that moving out looked like the only option. I’m not going to bother you with the details but let’s just say my wife is a difficult person for ME  to handle. For those who know DISC I’m an S. I like people, I like harmony and peace. My wife is a Dc … in other terms she is a drill sergeant, and she doesn’t believe sugar coating things such as the sandwich theory (Praise, praise, point improvements and close with a praise). But I also know that if God had not paired me up with her I would not be where I am today. If it were not for my wife, I would not have developed this sense of consistent pursuit of excellence. So while hard, indeed a God sent.

At any rate, things were difficult for me and I was struggling badly. Feeling distant, feeling hurt even having feelings of hate. I cried to God “Lord how can this be? Why are you doing this to me? Please help me, fix this situation!” I kid you not, instantly (I really mean instantly) I began to feel love for my wife. A love I don’t remember ever feeling. Deeply connected and reverent. Out of the blues!! Now, remember I was hurt and feeling hateful and just like magic I completely turned around … me, not her.

Then it dawned on me.

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love Never Fails” 1 Corinthians 13:4ish to 8

 “Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins.”  22. 1 Peter 4:8

Love changes people, even when they don’t know you love them. It is that powerful. It is like turning on a light switch in a dark room. There is nothing darkness can do to stop light simply because darkness is the absence of light as hate is the absence of love.

But here is the deal, the minute the light is gone it’s dark again. 

So the only way for us to “fix” this situation is to prayerfully love our enemies, love the haters, love those who are in darkness, love protesters and those who are against the rules. Love sinners as you are one too. Love Never Fails. I even did a short movie about this verse. You can watch it here

Now the best thing about this is that Love fixes others but also helps YOU. Love is truly a win-win-win. Why 3 wins? Them, You and Pleases God.

But don’t forget, the minute that light switch is turned off it becomes dark again. So love constantly, love abundantly, love indiscriminately , love all. Because after all, Love Never Fails.