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Love in a world of hate.

Building relationships and showing love in a very divisive world.

In these tumultuous times, it can often feel challenging to show love and build relationships with those who may appear to be on the other side of whatever divisive issue is seen in the media or online. But it doesn’t have to be this way! The power of love-- whether that's working through individual challenges together or bridging gaps between communities-- is a force that has no bounds; it transcends political differences and religious feuds. Here at St. John’s MCC, we are passionate about encouraging our followers to foster relationships built on mutual respect and kindness, regardless of differing backgrounds or belief systems. We invite you along as we explore ways of building relationships, strengthening connections and showing love inside our own homes as well as across social divides– taking steps towards unity in a world which seems so full of division.

Understanding How Our Words and Actions Impact Others

Ephesians 4:29 admonishes us to build and heal relationships instead of damage them with our words and actions. Matthew 15:11 reveals that whatever we say or do can have tremendous power, not just for ourselves but for others too. Therefore, rather than speaking or acting in a way that harms another human being, let us strive to understand the full impact of our words and actions so that we may use them to bring peace and healing into divided times.

Developing Emotional Intelligence

In a world filled with division and hatred, it is more important than ever to develop our Emotional Intelligence, so that we can be emotionally healthy and better equip ourselves to engage in relationships of love. Emotional Intelligence involves recognizing, understanding, and managing our own emotions, which also enables us to better recognize the feelings of others. Self-care is a major part of Emotional Intelligence; tending to our own wellbeing helps us have the energy and patience to turn towards and respond kindly in difficult situations. We can all take steps to learn more about Emotional Intelligence and practice using it in our lives, so that we can show up with the level of maturity and compassion needed for meaningful connection with those around us.

Establishing Healthy Communication Strategies

Establishing healthy communication strategies is an important step in showing love and building relationships even in the midst of great division and hatred. Language has undeniable power to bridge gaps, and we can all exercise it more responsibly whenever possible to nurture positive connections with those around us. In particular, being present in our conversations is essential; it encourages mindfulness around our words and allows us to actually witness the effects on others that result from what we say. Ultimately, this leads to more meaningful communication - which, if intentionally practiced - can transform hostile environments into settings of love and respect.

Celebrating Differences and Appreciating Diversity

In a world filled with polarization and discrimination, we must strive to recognize our shared humanity while celebrating the diversity of beliefs, cultures and heritages that make up our wonderfully interconnected society. Inter-faith dialogue is key to bridging barriers and ensuring equality of understanding between all people. An ecumenical attitude must be adopted if we wish to create positive relationships between those from different backgrounds and heal divides caused by misunderstanding. We can nurture respect for religious difference through celebrating the unique perspectives each faith brings, and by embracing the beauty of diversity in our communities. Working together as one global family requires us to show love for one another regardless of our beliefs or backgrounds; only then will we find true unity throughout our humanity.

Creating an Environment of Respect and Compassion

Humanity is a core value for creating an environment of respect and compassion. Beyond just showing love, there must be active work done to protect the human rights of all people, leading the way towards justice. This means promoting inclusivity, celebrating differences, and going beyond mere toleration to true acceptance of those around us. A shared social understanding that all are valuable and worthy must be created if we are to foster a more respectful atmosphere in this time of great division and hatred.

Practicing Kindness, Forgiveness, and Gratitude

Grace, mercy, and unconditional love--these gifts can make such a profound difference when their energy is welcomed into the world. Practicing kindness, forgiveness, and gratitude open pathways between the self and the other, creating an atmosphere of understanding and acceptance. Such practices align us with a greater source of power that brings forth a healing balm of comfort into every moment we choose it. When we open our hearts to show even small acts of grace, mercy and love to others, we are creating bridges of healing within ourselves and in the world around us. This simple action can create surprising depth of shift in relationships, communities, the Earth itself - revealing with clarity that love truly does conquer all!

It is time for us to accept responsibility for the words, actions and intentions that we have control over--so that we can begin to move forward in unity with each other. We have to turn down prejudices, negative thoughts, and unhealthy comments. Instead, follow a system of understanding, empathy and appreciation of diversity. Let’s recognize our differences and respect those who are different from us without judging them. May our actions be filled with love and grace towards ourselves and others - no matter the background or situation. And may the bonds of family, relationships and faith be strengthened through our efforts in showing love. Let’s make a commitment to intentionally build relationships of trust, acceptance and honesty. Starting building authentic relationships; with you, with others, and with God! Thank you for taking the time to read this blog post; may it lead you on your own journey of faith-filled action where you find joy in showing love!

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