April 5th…“DID YOU EVER FEEL A HATRED FOR ANOTHER PERSON?”
Hate is a word imbued with power and fraught with potential negativity if implemented in my life within the context of selfish pride, rather than a holy, righteous indignation.
I readily admit that I have sadly been guilty of hatred for individuals in my life and those occasions have stemmed from my own, self-centered pride.
As Christians, we see that the Holy Scripture is replete with directives from the Lord to love even our enemies and the only time hatred is allowed is when our God, Himself, shows a righteous hatred for sin, such as in Psalms 139:22 which speaks of a “perfect hatred”. Or, when Jesus chased out the money changers from the Temple. Those were times of righteous indignation against those who stained the sacred holiness of the Temple with their selfish encroachments and deeds of evil.
From the time of my childhood, I have mused upon those whom I have chosen to hate, and, as I ponder upon each incident, I have to attribute my hatred to having been based on my rampant immaturity, rather than “turning the other cheek ” and “going the extra mile” to show God’s love as Jesus would have me to do. Fathom this, Jesus, being the Perfect Lamb and Essence of Innocence, chose to take attacks against His person without retaliation. So also should I have done so in my own life.
It intrigues me, as I ponder this issue, how that those who intentionally wound me with mean words or deeds are the VERY ONES that I am supposed to love even MORE!!! It’s so easy to care about and show love to those who are easy to love, such as family and friends. Again the Spirit of God takes me to His Word and says, in Romans 5:10 (paraphrased) “While we were yet His enemies, Christ showed His love by giving His life on the Cross for us.” I am consumed in my thoughts how, in my finite fleshly mind, that I would even THINK of allowing myself to be killed so that an enemy of mine could go free and have the best of everything………..yet, that’s exactly what Jesus did for me!!! This is powerful, convicting and thought provoking as I deal with my feelings about some people.
Those times in my past, when I DID act out my hatred in word or deed, were times that I look back on with deep regret!! Nothing was gained. Feelings on both sides were further wounded and I was NOT a better Christian because of those sad episodes.
So, my dear ones, learn to do what is RIGHT in God’s sight and not from the frailties and failures of this Norwegian Farmer’s Son.