“He who says he is in the light and hates his brother, is in the darkness even until now.”
We have all hated someone at some time or other for some reason or other. It is not a pleasant emotion and is often dragged out of us at times of great stress, disappointment or let down. We feel the distress that the other person has caused us and it brings out powerful emotions. What do we do with them?
We bring our feelings of anger and even hatred to God, and ask Him to help us to turn away and deal with the distresses. God may take us into some quite difficult places and cause us to go through deep trials to make us strong to cope with it. We all have to gain control over our inner feelings and anger and hatred are part of that. We need the same repentance and faith we had at the beginning of our Christian life and bring all of it to our Father’s loving hand. He will freely forgive and give us strength to combat the hatred and even turn it to love. Love is of God, so as we seek Him, so we seek that love which covers the multitude of our sins.
It is possible to experience hatred as a Christian, but we turn away from every semblance and expression of it. The other party may never change, but we ask God to protect us from all sin and darkness. We do not let it fester or destroy the loving heart that we possess in Christ. We set aside all our differences and distresses and seek the peace, which we all crave for.
There are people we need to stay away from – people who distress and abuse others for their own ends. We can forgive, but protect ourselves from the distress caused by other people. We cannot live in the light while going around hating other people. As Christians we forgive those who do wrong against us and not let bitterness and rancour build up over time until it bursts our from us out of control. We need to deal with our hurts before they turn and hurt us. We must deal with our hatred before is destroys our life. We do not want to find ourselves walking in the darkness, but in the peace of God, who forgives and who will give the power to overcome this strong emotion.
“Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, outcry, and slander, be put away from you, with all malice.”
We must be honest with ourselves and admit our feelings and thoughts and bring them to the Lord. When other people let us down, we need to keep ourselves in the love of God and keep friendships with people who are close to Him. Hatred thrives alone, peace is a shared experience. Even if we find ourselves alone, we have the Lord who is with us always and will keep us safe in His holy keeping.