Recently, a friend and I were discussing hateful feelings and she wondered how people can hate and yet share scriptures to justify their feelings and actions that are so contrary to God’s Word. That is indeed a good question. I certainly don’t have all the answers, but maybe I have an insight or two to share.
In the last few weeks I’ve had opportunity to reflect upon different people that have touched my life and it is with great sadness that I’ve had to realize a few of these folks have allowed themselves to be filled with hate due in part because they have chosen to believe lies, taken things out of context, talked their situations to death, made mountains out of mole hills, and in some cases just told themselves bald face lies, over and over and over again. And yet, these same people were telling me that God had been doing so much in their lives, He was helping them move on and was healing their brokenness, they were overcomers. Nothing was wrong with them. “The ones who have the problem are the other people, not me!”
Not surprisingly, their bitterness, resentment, ill temper turned into such unmistakable hate and I could see it become like a poison, a cancer, in their life. Everything they touched was black with envy, jealousy and spitefulness. It reminded me, truthfully, of the evil Spiderman, in Spiderman 3. (If you have read this blog for any length of time, you will know that I often talk about movies, because I can see so much that God wants to teach us right there on the big screen. Don’t ask me why, but I guess I have a thing for movies!)
But, I digress. I think oftentimes we think of God as being like we are, maybe just a little too much. Yes, Jesus was flesh and blood, walked the earth as a human, sang, laughed, joked with His disciples and was their best friend. He does much the same with us when we receive Him as Lord and Savior into our hearts. But He is, after all, the Lord of All, King of Kings, Maker of Heaven and Earth. He’s Omnipotent, Omnipresent, Omniscient, He’s so far above us that our best could never be good enough. We are sinful to our core and could never get to Him without His sacrifice to meet us where we’re at. He came to this Earth in a lowly form as a human, in order to show us He is loving, kind, gentle, meek and lowly as well.
Having said that, I think we get on our high horses and assume that He thinks like us and would be highly offended by the people who have offended us. We often try to find scriptures that agree with our point of view, and then refuse to listen to anything contrary to our thought and behavior patterns. We just don’t want to be shown to be wrong…about anything! We want God to hate what we hate.
But being God, He has an entirely different perspective than we do and can see the end from the beginning. He knows what He’s trying to accomplish in us, what He wants to teach us, and only He knows best how to do that. If it means we may endure heartache, insults, grief and sorrow along the way, He has made a way for us. Remember, He walked in those same paths as a human, yet without sin, without hate. He alone can make the pain go away. He alone can heal the hurts.
But if we, on our own, decide we know how God is going to work things out and allow our emotions to get angry, angrier, angriest, then bitter, resentful, and filled with hate, we have totally missed what He wants to do in our lives. He is on our side, but His ways have been tested over millennia of time and if we refuse to do things His way, we open ourselves up to His enemy, the devil.
Speaking of which, let’s discover a little about where hate originated. When the universe was created, one of the most beautiful angelic beings lived in Heaven with God the Father, Jesus the Son, and the Holy Spirit. He was revered and, according to some scholars, was apparently given leadership over music, the angelic choir, if you will. His very spiritual body contained tabrets and pipes to make heavenly music and song for all to hear and sing. He was considered an angel of light, beautiful beyond all angelic beings. But he became filled with pride, forgetting his place and Who it was that had given him such gifts, and plotted to overthrow and become greater than God Himself. He not only deceived himself, but ultimately a third of the angels believed and followed him, jeopardizing their Home and eternal future as well. Before long a great battle ensued, the result of which left this former beautiful, gifted angel and all his cohorts plunging to their “death”, if you will, and the fall of this being was very great, as lightening streaking through the heavens! Banished to earth, losing his important status in Heaven, and ultimately to lose everything—will be banished to everlasting hell and torment for his great sin and mutiny against a loving and great God.
Enter, stage right, Adam and Eve and all their descendants–you and me, beings of the human persuasion, a little lower than angels according to the Bible. We were promised a place in Heaven when we accept Jesus as Savior and Lord of our lives. We are promised health, wholeness, abundance in every area of our lives if we only will believe for it. We are blessed, redeemed, honored, forgiven, healed and rich beyond our wildest dreams…wouldn’t that make you furious, filled with rage and hatred towards the ones God has chosen to replace you with??
Satan, or Lucifer as he has often thought to have been called in his glory days, became poisoned with hatred and now is on the rampage to try to destroy God’s creation in any way he can. Pride, fear of lack, sorrow, self-righteousness, fear of all types, greed, sickness, disease, deviancy from all that is right and holy, and so on and so on runs rampant in our world today, but is only the outcropping of the hatred in Satan’s black heart. For now he’s the deceiver, the destroyer, the killer of all that is good, pure and right. His lying poison has spilled out into our world in so many ways and for so many years that it is often difficult to determine right from wrong unless we stay very close to the Lord and the Words of Life He spoke through his early followers. These Words never change, never falter, will remain the same forever and ever, unlike the confusion that the Enemy of our souls pours forth.
If you have allowed hate, or any of its’ lesser forms–if there is such a thing–anger, resentment, malice, bitterness, etc. to rise up in your heart, please know that you have a choice. You can side with Lucifer/Satan and potentially risk losing everything you value, or you can turn to the Lord, repent, receive forgiveness and then forgive those who have hurt you. What you will gain by ditching the hate is immeasurably better than anything you could lose by holding on to it. Forgiveness is always the best way to go, and your example, Jesus, will help you as you allow Him to soften your heart and let His love flow through you. Hate is a very hard task master and a thief of joy, love and peace. Don’t let it steal any more from you.
Have confidence in the God of mercy….give him permission to take the hate and turn it into love, joy and peace. Please feel free to share what God is doing in your life. I’d love to rejoice with you as He brings you into His marvelous light. Be blessed!