Are You a Hater?
copyright © 2011
When I was young, someone once shared an old saying with me: "You become what you hate." And I thought, Really? That can't be true! The idea really disturbed me and I pondered it for years, hoping it was wrong. . . . but you know, I've discovered that it's often true.
In this frustrated world, hate is the strongest emotion that many people have. If you doubt this, take a look at the growing number of books, movies, and TV series devoted to the topic of vengeance.
People are so angry, becoming so consumed with hate that it becomes their cause, their reason to keep going. And eventually, it morphs them into the very things they hate. What starts as a crusade for something they think is right (something like, say, "tolerance") turns into an unending crusade against the "stupid" or "evil" people who don't agree with them. What starts as a stand for free speech (or free love, or free you-fill-in-the-blank) ends with those same people demanding that the opposition be silenced or dragged to the solutions of the [free-thinking?] group! What starts out as a movement to help the less fortunate ends with the call to take what one feels one should have.
Look at so many of the people in politics, the media, and entertainment. They're out there each day—railing against every person or group that offends them. . . . while doing the very things that they claim they hate: Judging people, demonizing, name-calling, and sometimes even calling for violence against anyone who gets in their way.
If you want to walk with Jesus, look at the face of hatred and remind yourself that you don't want to see it in your mirror.
Jesus said: "You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your Father in heaven." [Matthew 5:43-44a NIV]
A gentle answer deflects anger, but harsh words make tempers flare. The tongue of the wise makes knowledge appealing, but the mouth of a fool belches out foolishness. [Proverbs 15:1-2 NLT]
By long forbearance and calmness of spirit a judge or ruler is persuaded, and soft speech breaks down the most bonelike resistance. [Proverbs 25:15 AMP]
If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing.
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
Love never fails. [1 Corinthians 13:1-8 NIV]
Food for thought.
Scriptures marked NIV are taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved.
Scriptures marked NLT are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright 1996. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Wheaton, Illinois 60189. All rights reserved.
Scriptures marked AMP are taken from the Amplified® Bible, Copyright © 1954, 1958, 1962, 1964, 1965, 1987 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission." (www.Lockman.org)