1 John 2:9-11 (NIV) – Anyone who claims to be in the light but hates a brother or sister is still in the darkness. 10 Anyone who loves their brother and sister lives in the light, and there is nothing in them to make them stumble. 11 But anyone who hates a brother or sister is in the darkness and walks around in the darkness. They do not know where they are going, because the darkness has blinded them.
Have you ever been bold enough to verbalize by way of forcing air out of your lungs and over your vocal chords and forming your mouth just the right way to declare the word “HATE” at another human being? I am guilty as charged. That harsh word was spoken over me recently and I instantly wanted to crawl back into my victim suit which had been hanging in the back of my skeleton closet for moments just like that. I pulled it out, adorned it with the broach of self-pity, the choker necklace of paranoia, the belt of doubt, the earrings of insecurity, and hung it outside my closet door to be put on the next day because THAT night I was too tired and overwhelmed to even pull out the iron and get out the wrinkles. So I slept, and not peacefully. I tossed and turned, constantly waking up to look at my not so beautiful suit hanging there…mocking me.
As the glorious sun rose in the sky on a new day, I took a journey down a road never before traveled, still decked out in my PJ’s and barefoot, the victim suit hanging in its proper place. Here is what was revealed to me as I traveled alone with God in quiet seclusion.
Christian love is not a feeling but a choice. It’s our OWN attitude that causes us to ignore or despise others, to treat them as competitors and enemies and out comes the infamous blame-thrower meant solely for aiding in deflection. Since when did taking personal responsibility become such a chore?
Proverbs 6:16-19 (NIV) – There are six things the Lord hates, seven that are detestable to him: 17 haughty eyes, a lying tongue, hands that shed innocent blood, 18 a heart that devises wicked schemes, feet that are quick to rush into evil, 19 a false witness who pours out lies and a person who stirs up conflict in the community.
Susan Brogan always says, “When you have hate in your heart, everything that is beautiful is now ugly, and everything ugly is seen as beautiful.” “How backwards is that, God?” was the question posed as I strolled in the Spirit with the Lord that early morning. Of course, more questions came, “Is it me? What else should I have done?” Then the anger followed suit, “How DARE that person say that about me! Talk about ungrateful!!” All of the questions and comments to Gad had my mind wandering back to the suit that had now been meticulously draped ever so carefully across my bed and took me further away from the quiet white peace I walked in.
We MUST be willing to accept discipline and correction and learn from the wisdom of others that God has strategically placed in our lives so we don’t hate the helping hand reaching out for us.
Personal Responsibility = FREEDOM
Webster’s defines “Hate” as follows – intense hostility and (aversion) a tendency to extinguish a behavior or to avoid a thing or situation and usually a pleasurable one because it is or has been associated with something physically harmful or destructive to oneself (noxious) and rouses or entices to activity (stimulus) usually derived from fear, anger, or a definite but often vague awareness or impression (sense) of injury.
My mind is blown and compassion floods my soul as I stop dead in my tracks while still seriously contemplating the outfit on my bed, the dreaded victim suit, which awaits me in some sick, comforting way. Someone’s hate spewing toward me isn’t about me at all. All it is is a deep rooted desire to just be loved. It’s the only word that can fully describe the pain felt at a vague awareness of our own shortcomings, so out comes the word in a moment of complete surrender to the dark.
Don’t hate the hater! They hurt too bad about themselves to truly understand, and in that loss of understanding, they lose sight of the Light in their own eyes looking back at them from their reflection in a mirror.
With that, I put on my praise and worship outfit and burned the victim suit once and for all.
Song of Songs 1:5-6 (MSG) – Don’t look down on me because I am dark, darkened by the sun’s harsh rays. My brothers ridiculed me and sent me to work in the fields. They made me care for the face of the earth, but I had no time to care for my own face.