Good morning. It is Wednesday, January 26, 2022. Jeanette Stark here.
Brrrrrr! It was 24 and clear at my house early this morning; 27 and a bit foggy in town. A very cold morning with the promise of another sunny afternoon.
Martin Luther King Jr. once said, “I have decided to stick with love. Hate is too great a burden to bear.” This statement could not be truer.
Let’s look at hate.
From everydayhealth.com, “Poison isn’t always something you eat or drink – it can be an emotion. And hate is one of them, eating you up inside and causing destruction. Do you have hate in your life? Read on for ways to control it before it damages you or your loved ones…
Hate is a mighty strong emotion. This mental venom can pollute your spirit, poison your soul and seep into all of the relationships that surround you. Anyone who has found themselves wrapped up in the arms of hate knows how damaging and mind-consuming it can become. Even the word carries power, particularly if it comes from a friend, a family member or a child.
While hate can be directed at almost anything – animals, foods, jobs, movies – the most destructive is hatred toward other people.
Today, I want you to ask yourself these questions: Does hate have a place in my life? Do I harbor any feelings of hatred toward myself or anyone else? If you do, I implore you to address this negative feeling before it becomes something much more dangerous. Hate, when left unchecked, will drain your spirit, tarnish your soul and darken your days.”
There was a time in my life when I hated someone, my stepfather. He came into our lives and turned everything upside down when I was 10 years old. Until he arrived on-scene I had only known love and patience. He seemed to bring the opposite. He was intolerant, mean and a bit perverse. I carried my hatred for him into my adulthood. I had hated this man for 25 years and I was tired of this feeling inside me. My hatred for him was not hurting him, but it sure was hurting me. I had tried to forgive him, really, I had, but I could not do it on my own. One day I decided to ask God to help me forgive him. I said something like “Lord, I cannot do this. Would you please help me forgive him?” It worked! I no longer had those feelings brewing just beneath the surface. It almost seemed, too simple.
It was not long after that, he would write a letter to me. It was part of his counseling, and he was to make amends with anyone he had hurt. He asked for my forgiveness, and I was able to write him back and honestly tell him I had already forgiven him.
I love the way God works! He had been working on my heart to give up the hurts and forgive this man. Had my stepfather written that letter while I still harbored those feelings, I am not sure how it would have ended up.
It does not take a keen sense of observation to look around and see hate and anger growing in people around us. They hold onto grudges, keep a record of your wrongs, criticize your every movement or lack thereof. It gets tiring.
Many studies demonstrate the damaging effect of anger on our physical health. One study, from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, shows that people who experience recurring anger are at a higher risk of stroke. Experts studied more than 14,000 individuals and concluded that people who spend more time angry were more vulnerable to eventually having a stroke. (Source: exploringyourmind.com)
So, where do we go from here? The Bible of course.
If you say you are a Christian, you cannot hate. 1 John 4:20 tell us that “If someone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen, how can he love God whom he has not seen?” NKJV
1 John 2:9 “He who says he is in the light, and hates his brother, is in darkness until now.” NKJV
God does not want us hating each other. But more importantly, do we need forgiveness? Have we done things in our life that we need God to forgive? The answer more than likely is “yes”.
Jesus teaches His disciples how to pray in Matthew 6:9-13…“And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.”
Jesus then repeats the warning in verse 15. “But if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.” NKJV
If we do not forgive, God will not forgive us. Think about that for a moment. God will forgive us in the same way we forgive others.
But let’s say you are not a Christian, science has proven that if you hold on to hate, you make yourself sick. Hatred is too big a burden to carry.
Psalm 55:22 invites us to cast our burdens on the Lord. He will handle them for us. “Cast your burden on the Lord, and He shall sustain you…” NKJV
1 Peter 5:7 “casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you.” NKJV
I believe Jesus will help you in the same way He helped me. If you have been harboring ill feelings toward someone, if you hate that person for the wrong they have done in your life, ask Jesus to help you forgive. You are only hurting yourself by carrying this load.
“Better is a dinner of herbs (vegetables) where love is, than a fatted calf with hatred.” Proverbs 15:17 NKJV
Stick with love. Hate is too great a burden to bear.