There are a lot of people who come in and out of our lives who are VERY difficult to love. I pretty much run into it every day in the military. My least favorite people in this world (other than murders and those obvious choices) are people who use their power to cause pain to others, whether it be physical or emotional. I'm totally a mother hen in every way and if you become someone I care about you better believe I will go to bat for you over everything. Just ask some of the single soldiers my husband served with. =) It also carries over to people I feel need protecting in any way. This covers people being taken advantage of. It just really ruffles my feathers. I get all red in the face, puff up, and get ready for battle. My husband has had to beg me not to say things more than once because I'm so ready to take on a commander, screw the consequences.
More difficult than even these people though are those who are outright evil. Who kill and torture and destroy everything beautiful in the world for whatever their insane reason is. Those people do not deserve love. They deserve nothing but hate and aggression given right back to them. They deserve to have done to them what they are doing to people. Currently, the number one group who are like this that come to most people's minds are the members of ISIS. If you are unfamiliar with who ISIS is then you have been living under a rock and should really go read some news articles right now. No really...go read them and come back later.
So here's the thing. ISIS and their supporters are easy to hate. They do awful things. They kill innocent people and broadcast it. They call for their followers to slaughter those who refuse to become Islamic. They believe that unless you bow down to their rule and their beliefs then you don't deserve to live. They have attacked and slaughter hundreds of people. How could these people receive anything but unbiased hate from those who are decent humans? Well, for the most part they don't. The world hates them with no reserve. I constantly see Facebook posts and Tweets about maiming ISIS members. About how the postee would like to do the same awful things to these people as they are doing to others. And I completely understand. I am HORRIFIED by what ISIS members have done. It makes me sick to think about all the threats they have made. Some of those threats have directly affected my husband and my friends. My husband and I have been forced to set up plans for what to do if we are attacked at home. Yes, hating them is easy and it makes sense. Our human nature even makes us feel that it is the right thing to do. But here is the thing, it's not.
I refuse to hate ISIS and those who follow them. That may come as a shock to you, due to their evil and hatred. Especially since they have called for their followers in the US to attack and kill soldiers. Don't get me wrong, I don't agree with anything they are doing or saying. I think they are awful people with evil ideas. However, hate has never healed anything. Hate can not heal the broken hearts of those who have lost loved ones to these maniacs. Hate can't stop the stupid actions of others. All it does is spread more anger and pain. It traps you. Leaves you feeling sick, feeling dirty. Hate hurts you the most. Because it doesn't bother the people you are hating. They don't care if you like them. They want you to be angry because then they have won. No, I won't hate the misguided...I just pity them instead.
I feel pity because of how lost they are. They are doing nothing but blackening their souls and damning themselves. I pity them for the life full of anger and hate they live. I can't imagine the pain that creates within the body. We are not meant to be hateful creatures. We are meant to love and share that love. There have been studies done on how anger, hate, and other negative feelings physically effect us. The results were never good. How awful to live a life where you have nothing but those emotions. They have no idea what love feels like. They don't understand the freeing feeling that comes from forgiving those who have wronged you. They don't get to experience peace and tranquility. The have never felt the Lord's arms around them. The idea that they never experience positive emotions because they have chosen a life full of negativity is a depressing one. When I focus on that fact, I feel pain and sadness for them. I can't hate someone who is so broken.
Returning hate with love is the only hope we have of ever changing the lives of those who are lost. If we hate them back all it does is validate their beliefs. Love throws them off. It confuses them. We can only hope that with enough love we may be able to change the minds of some. We will never be able to change everyone, they have their own free will and many are not willing to let go of the darkness in them. However, banishing the hate and anger in a single person is worth it. And erasing that anger could save hundreds of others. We never can see the total reach of love as it spreads.
I was commanded by my Father in Heaven to "love one another as I have loved you." He didn't say "love those who are easy to love" or "love only those that you want to love." No, he told me to love and forgive everyone. And that is what I'm going to strive for. It won't be easy. I'm going to fail at times and have to try again but I will continue to choose love over hate. It is what is needed of me and it is what is best for me. I want this world full of love and it has to start somewhere, why not with me. Why not let it start with you too?
Keep L i/o ving.