Do you feel busier or more involved than other people in your church community? Watch out! Be careful not to use yourself as a barometer to measure others.
This made me reflect. Often, when we encounter something like this, we think “Yes! Somebody hates me but I don’t know why he/she hates me!” then I realized, we have to ask ourselves too:
“Have I hated on somebody for no apparent reason? Like they haven’t really done anything to me nor harmed me, but I hate them?” Hah. The answer wasn’t surprising for me: Yes, many times.
Why do we have the tendency to hate on some people even if they haven’t done anything to us directly? Sometimes these people don’t even know us or have a relationship with us.
“I hate him because he’s annoying.”
“I hate her because she’s such a loudmouth.”
We can come up with a million reasons but we have to get to the root of things—WHAT FUELS THE HATE? Hate is also such a strong word but sometimes when we don’t guard our hearts, a simple dislike could grow into full-blown hatred.
When I recently came across a crass celebrity, I admit I got miffed and some of you my dear friends, have seen me express my utter distaste for her behavior.
But I thought to myself—this girl doesn’t know me. Even if I told her that she has such crass behavior, would she actually listen? Would she take my advice? Maybe not, because we are not friends. Also, even if she goes on with that behavior—that is her issue. She is accountable for that. Will it affect me? Will it impede my daily living? The answer is no. So yeah. I may have been annoyed by her but I had to catch myself quick so it would not cross over to hatred.
What fuels hatred for others? Let us search our hearts.
Is it envy?
Oh the green-eyed monster. Envy can oftentimes lead us to be highly critical of those who have what we think we deserve. Instead of being happy for them, displeasure breeds and it can progress into a desire to destroy them.
“It’s unfair. I deserve what they have! I deserve the life they’re living.”
“They don’t deserve to be happy.”
Take time to ask yourself today: If I don’t like the thought of someone HATING ME for no reason, have I at any point also HATED ON SOMEONE for no reason? Why do I hate them? What is the underlying issue? What do I need to change about myself?
Now if you find yourself on the receiving end of seemingly unwarranted hatred, search your heart as well.
“Is there a valid reason for the person to hate me? Is it something we can talk about?”
“Have I directly and intentionally hurt the person to illicit a response like that?”
If you don’t know the person and you know in your heart that you didn’t intentionally hurt him/her, if the person still hates you, then let the Lord deal with them. Pray that the Lord would enlighten and convict them, bringing to the surface deep-seated issues such as envy and insecurity.
14 But if you harbor bitter envy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast about it or deny the truth. 15 Such “wisdom” does not come down from heaven but is earthly, unspiritual, demonic. 16 For where you have envy and selfish ambition, there you find disorder and every evil practice.
A heart at peace gives life to the body, but envy rots the bones.
Have a great day, friends!