What do you do when someone consistently shows you hate? They would not admit it, but you know they must because they can’t ever say anything nice to you. They can’t celebrate your accomplishments in life like retiring early, getting to move back to one’s hometown and buying a house, and not one kind word spoken when you got remarried, finding love again, after years of being divorced.
They find it so difficult to be happy for you. Could it be because they aren’t? Is it jealousy? The weird thing is they seem to find others like them, and it’s as if they start a “HATE YOU” club, or something. They band together, pick you apart as if you were shredded meat being devoured. And the worst part is, if they decide they are right, then even if you were right, you become wrong, because they out number you. Hate, seems to be a sick kind of magnet that attracts others.
Jesus knew this too well. You see the religious rulers of his day hated him, because the people loved him. They were starting to believe in him and his message of love. The Jewish leaders knew they had to act fast and strike a death blow, or lose their status forever. They got a large number of people to believe them, and join their “hate club” against Jesus. Most likely the very people Jesus fed, prayed for, and healed. Yet, on the cross, close to death, Jesus had compassion on them and loved them. In fact he asked his Father to forgive them, for they know not what they do. He showed them love, in the face of hate.
This past weekend, I was sitting in a drive through. I looked in my rear view mirror, and saw one of my haters. My flesh rose up, evil thoughts came to mind. Anger, resentment. Then, love came on the scene and I decided to tell the person at the drive through window I would like to pay for the person’s order who was behind me. I’m not telling you this trying to make you think I am great, but to illustrate one simple way of showing love, in the face of hate, like Jesus did. Although, Jesus didn’t pay for their order, he paid for their life, with his.
Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends. John 15:13 (NASB)
I overcame my flesh by repenting of hate in my heart, because I hate how I am treated. It hurts, doesn’t make any sense, but I cannot control them, or their choice on how to live. The only thing that matters is how Jesus sees me. One thing I try to keep in mind is they are living with hurts of their own they never gave to God, and asked him to heal. If you want to close down the “hate clubs” in your life then pray for them, and show love every chance you get.
Copyright © 2019 Mark Brady. All rights reserved.