Got Hate?

Love Hate Buttons Shows Loving And Hating Relationship

Love Hate Buttons Shows Loving And Hating Relationship

Oh, I would never hate anyone. I go to church and read my Bible. After all, I’m a Christian and Christians don’t hate! Right?

Okay…maybe I don’t “like”, but I definitely don’t hate!

Love? Oh no way… you have no idea what he did to me!

Hum…Maybe I do have hate in my heart.

Do these statements resonate with you? Do you dare even think about them?

I don’t hate! Uh, I just don’t love. Okay, I don’t like.

Fluff it up to make it sound better, but we all know there’s a difference. Here’s my story.

About a decade ago a young man became involved with my family. This person, not a Christian, brought with him deception, selfishness, and destruction. As a result, my entire family reaped the consequences of another person’s poor decisions. We were pushed headfirst into a pit of despair.

It was during this time that I was up early one morning, reading my Bible and praying to God.

I read John 14:15 which says, “If you love me, keep my commands.”

I genuinely thought, I love you, God!

Even as I thought that…I stammered. The emotion surprised me and I even looked around the room to see if God was looking. Weird, right? But I knew something was wrong.

Within a few minutes, the tears began to drip from my eyes. They puddled upon my papers.

I don’t hate! Uh, I just don’t love. Okay, I don’t like.

In complete stillness, God showed me that although I loved Him, I wasn’t obeying Him. You see, I was beginning to hate the person that was negatively invading and hurting my family. I had never hated anyone before.

He deserves to be hated for all the horrible things he’s done!

But thankfully God was persistent and He got through to me. I began to understand that although I felt he deserved to be hated, God loved Him.

What, God? What do I do? I can’t deliberately choose disobedience and risk my relationship with You God! I can’t do this on my own. Please show me how to respond in a way that will glorify You.

I wondered if God expected me to love hateful people the way I love my best friends.

I prayed… a lot. I read His Word…a lot.

During these urgent times with God, I began to understand that by loving people we do not know, or acquaintances, or people who have deliberately or indirectly hurt us, means that we don’t wish them any harm. We do not secretly get happy at their pain or misfortune, and we do not behave in a way that is rude in front of them.

Within 24 hours I got even more of the answer I so desperately was seeking…in God’s Word:

For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.  Ephesians 6:12 NIV

WHOA.

Like a red flag being waved right in front of my face, I got it! I do not fight flesh—this young man—I  fight against Satan, who is using this person to make me anger and hate. I boldly admitted that I had hate in my heart and humbly asked God to help me deal with it.

I felt FREE! I felt relieved. I immediately realized my fight wasn’t with another person but with Satan. Weird as this might sound, but I could transfer my hate to Satan…where it belonged.

Once I recognized my sinful attitude, asked forgiveness, and asked God for direction, the forgiveness and love gradually came. I prayed every morning asking God to help me, and He did. Sometimes I had to pray throughout the day, as my anger popped up. For months I needed to pray very specifically for this emotion.  Slowly, though, my hateful thoughts became less frequent. And over time the hate dissolved completely.

Can you relate? Maybe you have experienced:

  • Betrayal of a spouse?
  • Betrayal of a best friend?
  • Devastating gossip?
  • A backstabbing co-worker?
  • Jealousy that led to hate?

I was healed. And you can be too. Through God’s mercy and forgiveness, He faithfully provides the answers:

  • Realize who you are fighting against.
  • Pray often, especially when the person you hate comes to mind.
  • Ask God to forgive you.
  • Pray for the person you hate–it becomes an act of worship and obedience.

John 4:4 says we have overcome the enemy because, “Greater is He who is in us than he who is in the world.”  And 2 Corinthians 10:5 says to, “Take every thought captive to Christ.”

Sure, we can justify our thoughts because we are real people with very real emotions. But God promises to help us deal with our sinful attitudes so that we can be in a right relationship with Him.

I enjoy writing inspirational blogs but this one was hard. And it might be hard for you to read, especially when there is conviction. However, I was compelled to write this, for I want you to experience the freedom I had when I released this hate to God. That freedom can be yours for the asking.

Next week I will share the testimony of another woman who hated a woman in her same church.

Yep, hard stories, but very real.

And while it may be hard to be so transparent to share our ugly truth, it is right and beneficial for others.

Oh, and the young man? I rarely, if ever, see him. He never changed his ways. But that year, God changed me.

 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.  It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.  Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.  It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 (NIV)

Debbie is co-founder of Shine! Ministries and a partner with The Polished Conference. She is the author of one Bible Study, “Shine! Young Women Radiating the Love of God,” available fall, 2015. In addition, Debbie is an adjunct instructor in the Education Department at Montreat College. She would love to speak at your next women’s event. For more information visit her website: www.debbiepresnell.com or visit her page on facebook: shineministriesnc. Contact her directly at debpres@yahoo.com.

 

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10 Responses to Got Hate?

  1. I have no idea why I can never log in, but though it rejects my password, it lets me write whatever I want and post it. Hmmm… Okay, I loved your post cause I got to live some of that journey with you and it was a tough journey you had to take. But I think how you did change in how you spoke of him and how the bitterness faded away. That was God’s grace and you leaning into the hard stuff of forgiveness. Out of it I saw you grow and deepen to a place where God is powerfully using you now to connect with others who are in the midst of their hard journeys, and rather than just being able to say, “Oh that’s too bad. I’ll be praying for you. ” You KNOW what they are going through and can fulfill 2 Cor. 1 as you offer a heart of compassion. So proud to know you.
    “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, 4 who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. How great it has come full circle.”

    • Hi Carol,
      Your comment came through just fine. 🙂 In reflection, this was a difficult time, but what I gained will be able useful to help others. Yep, I hated going through it… but God made it good. And I wouldn’t trade what I learned. I do feel I have a deeper level of compassion and understanding. Yes, it is great to come full circle. Mostly, I am so glad I had you to walk through this with me. 🙂

  2. Gloria Spears says:

    A good and much needed message. Debbie, You nailed it! I can only imagine such a hard subject to write about. I see some of this in church, occasionally – the ugly truth. Look forward to next week’s testimony. I can relate. Someone came in our family’s life about 8 years ago and also brought much deception and confusion. We have moved on and forgave, but it was a lesson well learned and repentance. Ephesians 6:12 was what I had to remember and to pray for those people that rise up,against us!

  3. Yvonne montgomery says:

    Deb, just when I think that each of your blogs is so great and what more can you write for us – you write this on forgiveness! We all can use this – we all can do this – even those who don’t choose to forgive – those who don’t want to forgive – those who have no plans of ever forgiving. But please , recognize that the Almighty God of the universe can do for you what you can’t do, so ask Him to do it for you – He can change your mind and make the forgiveness flow!
    Thank you so much , Deb, and I love you.

  4. kelly williams says:

    once again my friend, you have hit the nail on the head! thank you!

  5. Michelle says:

    Great blog sis! You always deliver what I’m needing to hear. I love you! Honestly this is something I need reminded of! I admit I’m not as bad as I use to be but I still struggle. I’ve carried mine since childhood and there are times (even though I’m grown & somewhat a reasonable woman lol) that I’m transported back to those hateful feelings I harbored as a child. I’ve asked for forgiveness for many many years but have not cleared that hurdle all the way yet. Emotions are tricky as I’m a mere human and struggle with totally laying it down at Gods feet.

  6. You said that so beautifully… “laying it down at God’s feet.” Read the Scriptures every day and don’t give up! With God’s help you can release these emotions once and for all. I am praying for you, my sweet friend, and sister in Christ!!!

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