I haven’t written in a while because I’ve been mulling over the hatred in this world. I’ve been a victim of hatred by people that hate me unjustly. There is no reason that they should hate me. I’ve done nothing to them, except share a few meals and socialize a few times. I can’t understand their vitriol towards me. In trying to understand their hatred, I’ve studied the Bible and I’ve read psychiatric articles, with some understanding. My response is not to hate them back, but to pray for them from a distance.
This world is full of unjust hatred though. I’m not alone. For instance the unjust racial hatred. Ive never been a victim of racial hatred and my mother and my grandparents raised me not to see differences in race. I don’t think that way, I think of everyone as a one race, because we are all in this world together.
Another form of hatred I’ve become aware of is hatred of those in position of power or political office. I don’t belong to either main party in the US and I’ve seen the Republicans tear down our last president in mean and demeaning ways. Now I see the Democrats tearing down our current president. I’m not here to take a stance for either party or man. But why do people hate?!
I recall a time when I used the word hate on my mom when I was very young because I didn’t get my way. As I was sent to my room, I lashed out with the word hate. Who knows where I heard it, because it wasn’t in my mother’s vocabulary. That day, I learned the negative impacts of hate! My mother calmly called me down the stairs and asked if I wanted her to die! I was horrified at the thought!! Of course I said no, and she explained to me that to hate someone is to wish they were dead, that the word ‘hate’ was vile and detestable and should only be used for the most evil things in the world. She told me it was okay to hate bad things, like sin. I took the word hate out of my vocabulary that day. She also said that being angry was human, but as Christians we must learn to control what annoys us. Other people should not be hated and should not anger us to the point of lashing out, because we can remove ourselves from bad situations most of the time. I cannot remember ever hating anyone. But I have been the victim of jealousy and greed that turned into hatred towards me more than once.
1 John 3:15 Anyone who hates another brother or sister is really a murderer at heart. And you know that murderers don’t have eternal life within them.
1 John 4:20-21 If someone says, “I love God,” but hates a fellow believer, that person is a liar; for if we don’t love people we can see, how can we love God, whom we cannot see? And he has given us this command: Those who love God must also love their fellow believers.
Proverbs 6:16-19 There are six things the LORD hates-no, seven things he detests: haughty eyes, a lying tongue, hands that kill the innocent, a heart that plots evil, feet that race to do wrong, a false witness who pours out lies, a person who sows discord in a family.
The Bible tells us that we cannot hate our fellow man and still love God; it’s as if we are murderers. We would be murderers of God’s own, because God is no respecter of persons and loves each and every one of us. If we hate anyone else, we are sinning against those whom God loves. God hates the sin of pride and self-righteousness, gossiping, running to tell others things we cannot prove, plotting bad things to happen to others, or wishing they were ill or dead, he detests liars and those who stir up trouble in families.
As I read psychiatric articles to understand why people hate, I learned many times it comes from feelings of being different, jealousy, or envy. People hate what is not like them, but there are also times that people hate what is most like them, because they don’t like or accept themselves. This usually comes from someone who didn’t feel loved or accepted as a child. Sometimes people hate as a sense of belonging to a group of like minded people or for a need to fit in. This is also from a void in a person’s life. They join a group of haters, sometimes very small in number, because they have a cause they believe in, however misguided. Hatred is a distraction from emptiness, feelings of unworthiness, self-loathing, and loneliness. Hatred empowers some people and allows them to maintain a distance. It disenfranchises them from living life fully because that is too scary for them. They hold on to their inner hurt and hate others instead of dealing with their own inner turmoil. They lash out at what they cannot control and show anger as a sense of empowerment.
But these are not Christian attributes of love, joy, peace, and long suffering. The Holy Spirit can guide us into healing from hatred with love. What can all those feelings be replaced with? The fruits of the Spirit: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control; which all displace hatred and anger. That doesn’t mean we have to like how others live around us, but we don’t talk about them incessantly and complain and we certainly won’t hate them. Because whether they know Jesus or not, he certainly knows them and wants them to come to know him. Another way to deal with hatred and anger towards an individual is to pray for them earnestly. This is true of our leaders, and we are instructed to do this in the Bible. With the Holy Spirit’s guidance Love will dispel hate!
Ephesians 4:29 Don’t use foul or abusive language. Let everything you say be good and helpful, so that your words will be an encouragement to those who hear them.
1 Corinthians 13:4-7 Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.
John 13:34-35 “So now I am giving you a new commandment: Love each other. Just as I have loved you, you should love each other. Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples.”
Perfect Love gives us the ability to be healed from past hurts. It sets us free from pains we’ve endured throughout our lives. This love only comes from having Jesus Christ as our Savior and by the Holy Spirit guiding us each day, each moment of our lives. Let love dispel any hate, any jealousy, any greed, or sin we may be holding onto, so we can lead the life God intended for us. May we pray for all who have hatred toward us and show them his mercy and love. May God give us grace to show love and grace to those who may rub us the wrong way and remove any offense we feel.