Read 1 John 3:10-18
“Whosoever hateth his brother is a murderer: and ye know that no murderer hath eternal life abiding in him” (v. 15).
I do not know that I have ever heard a person actually confess they hated someone. So I began to explore a definition for hatred, and what it feels like to hate. What I found is that hate is as difficult to define as love. One person described hatred as “a feeling of very powerful continuous anger toward the person or thing that makes you feel like destroying or abusing it.” Someone else said that hatred is “the absence of warmth or tolerance in your heart for a person or thing.”
Perhaps it should not come as a surprise, but of the thirty-nine times the word “hate” occurs in the New Testament, over half of them come from the pen of John, known as the apostle of love. The suggestion is that we either love, hate, or are indifferent to those around us. When a person enters our life to the point that we can no longer be indifferent to them, either positive feelings — that is, feelings of love — or negative feelings — feelings of hatred, are going to arise.
One of the characteristics of hatred seems to be a desire for something bad to happen to the person in question. That suggests that a pay-back attitude actually involves hatred.
So think about those people in your life for whom you have negative feelings. Have those feelings become hatred? Do you wish something would happen to them that would set them straight? Christians want the best for each person they meet. Anything short of that borders on hatred. (Gordon Snider)
Choose to love the Lord
This week's featured devotional is from the Sunday, January 25, 2015 entry of Opening the Word.
Photo credit: "Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. ... hate is too great a burden to bear. I have decided to love" by BK used under CC BY-SA 2.0 / Resized.