Hate Thy Neighbor
edited: Sunday, November 17, 2002
By Lura M Langenback
Posted: Sunday, November 17, 2002
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Who do you hate today?
There are days when I dont want to think about this world. It becomes too sickening. All of the hatred, one for another, is just a tiny part of the 'ills' of this small planet. If only we understood that down underneath it all, we are ALL made in God's image. But sadly, the majority of the world doesn't see that. Much of the Christian community does not see it either. It is absolutely frightening how unthinking and hatefilled people are willing to put hate in front of other things; like love, compassion, honor, integrity.
What does it profit you to hate the Black folk? The White folk? The Jewish folk? The Arab folk? The American Indians? The Chinese? The Japanese? Germans? Who is on the list for today's hate? How about your siblings? Parents? Neighbor? Ex-husband or ex-wife? Ex-anything? Who can you think of to hate today? Does that make you feel better now? If it does, it will certainly only be temporary. Soon you will have to renew your hate for some group because hate cannot sustain itself without outside input. The devil must laugh and enjoy himself each time this occurs. It only helps his agenda, not yours.
Christian, if this is you, GET RID OF IT NOW! Your spirit grows smaller and weaker each time you indulge yourself in this sort of activity. It is detestable in God's eyes. Plain ordinary old sin is getting in the way of your salvation, your growth as a believer and it hurts YOU, not the one you hate! It will be YOUR body that degenerates from some illness. You might not have any idea how you got it. Did you know that hate can cause sickness and disease, emotional difficulties? Those 'feelings' that you live by are going to do you in if you don't change things now. There IS a better way.
God is love. (I John 4:16). Everything in existence was formed in love. Because God is love, He could not create anything any other way except by and in love. The devil may have corrupted it in this world but in the beginning was Love. Then Jesus said:
Matthew 5:43-46, "Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy. But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust."
Jesus wants you to love each soul. Corrie Ten Boom (holocaust survivor, now gone to be with the Lord) recounted a story about a very sadistic guard in the one of the Nazi death camps she and her sister were in. Her sister died because of this guard. Corrie began to hate him. Years later, at a gathering of Christians a man came up to her and begged her forgiveness for what he had done to her. It was the guard she hated. He had become born again. He was now a brother in Christ yet Corrie could not do what he begged of her because of her hatred towards him. It burned in her soul. Then the Lord reminded her of a verse that most people miss. Wonder why we bypass this. Perhaps it's because we really do not want to do what it says. It's surrounded by a popular scripture, at least in some circles, about having the faith in God and that we can live by that faith but Jesus goes farther than that. This is the part most folks miss:
Mark 11:25-26, "And when ye stand praying, forgive, if ye have ought against any: that your Father also which is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses. But if ye do not forgive, neither will your Father which is in heaven forgive your trespasses."
Notice the important part of that? IF you DO NOT FORGIVE then Father will not forgive you. Pretty powerful. Perhaps you are one who says 'but God is love. You said that. He HAS to love me enough to forgive me.' That is true yet He will not forgive you if you corrupt your heart with unforgiveness. Having that in your heart will stop prayers, add disease and stress, color your attitude toward other people as well.
When Corrie remembered that verse, she broke down and forgave him. She began to love that man! This verse doesn't say forgive only if they are lovable. It does not say if you choose to forgive, it's okay but if not, oh well. It doesn't say you can hold things against folks for anything you like until you FEEL like forgiving nor does it say that you can hate anyone of another color, religion, origin or any number of other things someone can think of to hate someone else.
Just in case you missed it the first time, Jesus said (Lura's paraphrase), IF you won't forgive the person you have something against, then the Father cannot, I said CANNOT, forgive you! Not that He will not, CANNOT. Do you understand here that there are NO EXCEPTIONS? 'Lord, he raped me!' 'Yes child, love him.' 'Father, she left me for another man.' 'Yes child, love her.' 'Lord, that drunk driver killed my only son.' 'Yes, I know. Love him.' 'My ex gave me aids.' 'I know. Love her.' 'The street gang tried to kill us while they stole everything we owned.' 'Yes I know. Love them.' 'They crucified My Son. I still love them.'
Just how important is your hate to you? Is it worth eternity? Maybe you are one of those folks who do not think that you hate anyone. It is a MUST to search your heart to see if you are deceiving yourself. Many people have prejudices against others for one reason or another but deceive themselves into believing that it's is something God has taught them. The Father cannot and does not teach that. If you have learned that it is wrong to mingle among those of another race or religion, you have been deceived. If you believe that it is wrong to marry someone based on race or religion then again you are deceived. God has shown us that there are two families in the world and ONLY two. Those who accept the Son of God as a Savior and Lord and those who do not. Bigotry lives, folks, and it's on the rise. I warn you, Christian, if you are one of those who hates, one day it will be aimed at YOU for what you believe.
Are you aware that prejudices and hatred are a learned response? Sure they are. If you put several children of different ethnic backgrounds in a sandpile, they will not see the differences or if they do, in childlike fashion they will ask about it. They will play together until some person tells them not to be with that dirty..(you supply the hate word). Thus grows a new bigot. Or perhaps at home, when Daddy or Mommy shouts out about that..(again supply the hate word)..seemingly cheated them out of something or took the coveted job or even a parking space, the children were listening. Did you think they missed it? They love their parents so it's natural that they would 'take up the fight'. Maybe they just hear the hate word at home so much that they think it's okay to say it. And so it goes.
So the question remains. What does hatred get you besides sick in body, ugly thoughts, attitude, violence? Does it really make you feel better? It might for a moment or two but that will not last. In the end, it will destroy you.
2 Chronicles 7:14, "If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land."
The Lord wants you to turn away from such things as hatred. When Jesus truly is a part of your life, the fruit of the Spirit comes upon you.
Galatians 5:22-23, "But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law."
This is the mark of a child of God. The very FIRST fruit is love, then joy and peace. I encourage you to get closer to the Lord, seek Him out, talk with Him. As you do that, you will notice a change in your attitude. You cannot be close to Love for long without it rubbing off on you. Isn't that wonderful? Love coming from the Father is precious. The best part is that He gives it to you to share with others. You will not run out! It's a neverending supply!!
If you do not know Jesus or you are not where you should be with Him, please pray for Jesus to forgive your sins and come into your heart now. He will bring LOVE with Him.