"I wish the hate speech would stop." We've been saying it for days, weeks, and years, but three hate-motivated public attacks in the same week, including the worst anti-Semitic mass murder in America history at Tree of Life synagogue in which eleven innocent Jews were killed has raised a heightened awareness to the hate in our nation. It's time to do more than just wish hate speech and crimes would stop. Who better to lead the way than Christ followers?
The Truth About Hate Speech and Wishes
Truth 1: Jesus says in Matthew 12:34 that a person's words reveal their heart. "For out of the overflow of the heart, the mouth speaks." When we hear hate speech, we're seeing a person's heart.
Truth 2: Christ alone can transform an evil heart to a holy heart.
Unlike earthly physicians who do surgery on a physical heart, Jesus performs spiritual surgery on the heart. How? Colossians 2:11 NLB explains, "When you came to Christ, you were 'circumcised,' but not by a physical procedure. Christ performed a spiritual circumcision--the cutting away of your sinful nature."
Truth 3: Wishes have no power, but if acted on in faith have transformative results.
To wish that hate speech end is a good wish and place to begin. But a wish without action is impotent. Children begin learning this concept at an early age when they make a birthday wish and are then told, "blow out the candles or it won't come true." What are we doing besides wishing?
The Bible gives examples of people who wished and acted on their wish and of others who wished, but didn't act on their wish.
In Matthew 15:21-28, a woman came to Jesus and pled for mercy on behalf of her demon possessed daughter. Jesus responded, "O woman, your faith is great; it shall be done for you as you wish."
On another occasion, a rich young ruler came to Jesus with a wish. He asked, "what good thing shall I do that I may obtain eternal life?" Matthew 19:16. Jesus concluded their conversation saying, "If you wish to be complete, go and sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me." Matthew 19:21. The man went away grieved.
The woman came to Jesus with a wish and great faith in what Jesus could do. The rich young ruler came to Jesus with a wish and wondering what he could do.
What Can Be Done About Our Wish that Hate Speech End
Walk in love filled with and yielded to the Holy Spirit.
Christ entrusted His love to believers. It's what distinguishes us as Christ followers unless we've grieved (Ephesians 4:30) or quenched (1 Thessalonians 5:19) the Holy Spirit in us. "By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another," John 13:35.
2. Turn our wish into a prayer to Jesus.
Our wishing hate speech would end is as impotent as a child making a birthday wish. Our going to Jesus with great faith and interceding for those who use hate speech can result in answered prayers.
Will we be like the rich young ruler, trying to figure out what we can do to no avail? Or will we be like the woman with great faith who went to Jesus, interceded, and saw great results?
"If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you." John 15:7.