There’s something about hatred that inspires more hatred. On June 12, 2016, hatred exploded in an LGBT nightclub in Orlando, Florida, leaving 49 dead, 53 wounded, and thousands others grieving. Thousands more, angry and hating. Maybe millions.
Some people, fortunately a minuscule minority, say that the homosexuals had it coming because
of their sinful lifestyle. Others hate the pro-gun community. Or the anti-gun community. The liberals. The conservatives. The Muslims. Radical Muslims. The gunman. Hatred exploded in Orlando, but the explosion is still going, it’s filling our Facebook newsfeeds.
Trust me, I get it. I have my own political viewpoints, and I feel those surges of anger toward opposing viewpoints…. I feel uncomfortable with the extremeness of my own negative emotions over “the issues” of the day.
So how do we deal with our hatred toward a person or group of people?
One thing’s for sure, you can’t kill hate with hate. You might as well pour gasoline on a fire and hope it goes out. Anger and hatred are murder, in seed-form (Matt. 5:21-23; 1 Jn. 3:15).
A lot of people are saying we need to love and not hate.... But nobody ever says how. Here are three ways to overcome your hate.
#1: Remember the love of Jesus. Jesus loved those who hated Him, He prayed for those who persecuted Him. It wasn’t just those evil Pharisees that crucified Him, it was you and me. Our hate killed Jesus, but His love made it possible for us to kill our hate.
When you begin to fathom the unfathomable debt you’ve been forgiven, you can’t help but forgive others (Matt. 18:23-25). When you realize how much Jesus first loved you, you can’t help but love others in like fashion (1 Jn. 4:19).
#2: Limit your time with angry people. “Make no friendship with a man given to anger, nor go with a wrathful man, lest you learn his ways and entangle yourself in a snare” (Pr. 22:24-25). I’ve found an extension of this Proverb to be true about consuming angry media. Go ahead, read 5 articles that feed your rage. Do it everyday. How much does it help you fulfill the Great Commandment?
#3: Spend time with people you’re tempted to hate. It’s hard to hate someone you laugh with. When you’ve laughed with someone of a different religion or race or orientation… when you’ve shared a meal with that person… when you’ve heard that person’s story… it’s much harder to hate.
Peter had a hard time not hating Gentiles, so God said, “Go eat with ‘em” (Acts 10). Then Peter went back to his old hateful ways, and God spoke to him again, C’mon man. Go eat with ‘em’ (Gal. 2).
It’s easy to hate people who are distant. But when they’re no longer so distant, they’re no longer so… different.
Do you have any friends of different ethnicity? Different religion? Different orientation? Not like the “token” friend, but a real friend you share meals and laugh with?
The only way to kill hatred is with love. Like what Chic-Fil-A recently did, or like this long line of people donating blood in the aftermath of the bloodbath.
Donors line up outside OneBlood Blood Donation Center in Orlando, Florida.
Source: Associated Press
We don’t have to let hate inspire hate.
In that spirit, we grieve with the victims in Orlando, our fellow men and women, made in the image of God. May God grant great grace to these victims’ families, and to His church, to resurrect love.