Let Us Not Hate
9 He who says he is in the light, and hates his brother, is in darkness until now. 10 He who loves his brother abides in the light, and there is no cause for stumbling in him. 11 But he who hates his brother is in darkness and walks in darkness, and does not know where he is going, because the darkness has blinded his eyes.
(1 John 2:9-11).
The word “hate” can range from disliking intensely to an extreme aversion to showing hostility. We can show hate on someone by criticizing them or belittling them because they are different, they think differently or they have traits we do not like. When it is done to us, which we all experience it from time to time, sometimes we want to lash out because it either angers us or frustrates us. It brings feelings of rejection and unworthiness within us. Though we are allowed to speak up against the wrong, we must be careful not to abuse our freedom in Christ to bite and devour each other when we speak out against a wrong.
“13 For you, brethren, have been called to liberty; only do not use liberty as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another. 14 For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” 15 But if you bite and devour one another, beware lest you be consumed by one another!”
It’s easy for our emotions to get the best of us because we are emotional people, but we must also be aware of the enemy, our adversary, who prowls around looking for someone to devour.
1 Peter 5:8
Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.
He will utilize any means necessary to take us down and yes, he can punch the buttons of Christians through others (even using other Christians) to get us to react. No Christian is exempt.
We must review ourselves daily and our relationships with others. Do we find ourselves more on the giving end of biting or the receiving end. If on the giving end, then we need to go before the Lord with our frustrations and surrender to Him. Remember James 4:7:
“Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.”
However, if you are on the receiving end of the bite, you are not alone.
1 Peter 2:23
23 When they hurled their insults at him, he did not retaliate; when he suffered, he made no threats. Instead, he entrusted himself to him who judges justly.
So what can we do? Remember what the scriptures say and obey God’s commands:
1 Peter 2:1-3:
Therefore, rid yourselves of all malice and all deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and slander of every kind. 2 Like newborn babies, crave pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up in your salvation, 3 now that you have tasted that the Lord is good.
1 Peter 2:15-17
15 For it is God’s will that by doing good you should silence the ignorant talk of foolish people. 16 Live as free people, but do not use your freedom as a cover-up for evil; live as God’s slaves. 17 Show proper respect to everyone, love the family of believers, fear God, honor the emperor.
2 Timothy 2:23-26:
23 But avoid foolish and ignorant disputes, knowing that they generate strife. 24 And a servant of the Lord must not quarrel but be gentle to all, able to teach, patient, 25 in humility correcting those who are in opposition, if God perhaps will grant them repentance, so that they may know the truth, 26 and that they may come to their senses and escape the snare of the devil, having been taken captive by him to do his will.
Lastly ,we are to pray for others as well as ourselves. If they are Christian’s, more so as we are on the same team:
43 “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ 44 [a]But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you, 45 that you may be sons of your Father in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust.”
Learn to identify the tactics of the enemy and utilize scripture to combat it and to defend those under attack as well as yourself. Time is short and we must not be like the 5 virgins that fell asleep and failed to have oil with them. They missed out when the bridegroom came.