Hatred's Burden

John 15:18-16:4

John 15:18 “If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first.”

Hate is such a strong word. I used to use it rather flippantly, but I haven’t done that in years. My children use it easily and I don’t think they know what it means or what it does to you. When someone says “I hate…” I always ask… do you really hate it? And I generally get the reply back… “Well it really annoys me or bothers me.”

My favorite hate quote comes from Martin Luther King Jr. He was talking about being tired of violence and hatred. He said, he sees what hate does to a person and he has decided to take the easy way out and love, because hate is just too big a burden to bear. And Jesus says to John “If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first.”

I hope and pray I have stopped hating! Oh, I have had my issues over the years. Where hatred came easily and seemed to satisfy, but it’s unfortunate that it has taken me so long to realize what a great burden hatred truly is.

Unlike love, I have found hatred to gnaw at my stomach, prevent healing, prevent relationship, make me lose sleep, lose feeling, lose hope, lose friends, and even lose sight of GOD and how can that be when GOD is in each and every one of us.

I believe hate stands in the way of and in sharp contrast to love. I don’t believe a person can both love and hate because hatred prevents true love and so I understand and agree with Martin Luther King Jr. when he says “I’m going to love because hatred is just too big a burden to bear.”

I have a friend at work who tells me he loves the sinner but hates the sin. He tells me this specifically about people who are gay. He spends a lot of time anguishing over the sin and the people. I believe some of his hate spills over onto the sinner. He tells me he doesn’t want these sinners in his church or near his family. Jesus tells John in 16:1-2, “All this I have told you so that you will not go astray. They will put you out of the synagogue; in fact a time is coming when anyone who kills you will think he is offering a service to GOD.”

In my life I can’t come up with one instance where my hatred of something led to a good thing and I thank GOD for allowing me to give up the burden of hate and to walk on- stretching this old body and soul to learn to love more every day!

Precious Father, Loving GOD, Holy Spirit, help us to identify those things we hate and help us to let go of those burdens and fall truly in love with all you have given us. AMEN!

Jim Dietvorst

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