It’s funny the ways that God will challenge you as a part of His growing, maturing, elevating and teaching you. For instance, in the area of Love. Let us first refresh ourselves with God’s definition of Love.
If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. 2 And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. 3 If I give away all I have, and if I deliver up my body to be burned,[a] but have not love, I gain nothing.
4 Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant 5 or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful;[b] 6 it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. 7 Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
8 Love never ends. As for prophecies, they will pass away; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will pass away. 9 For we know in part and we prophesy in part, 10 but when the perfect comes, the partial will pass away. 11 When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I gave up childish ways. 12 For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known.
13 So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love. – 1 Cor. 13 (NIV)
God epitomizes Love. We are the recipients of His Love. He sacrificed a part of Himself for us – we, the vile. We the sinners. We the fornicators. We the adulterers. We the murderers. We the coveters. We the unfaithful. We the defilers of men, women, children and our bodies. We the suicidal and depressed. We the hot-tempered. We the arrogant. We the pompous and pretentious. We the cliquish and clanish. We the idol-worshippers. We that espouse hate. We the envious. We the liars. And the list goes on and on.
Yet, those of us who proclaim to be Believers – the ministers, evangelists, pastors, teachers, priests, church leaders, deacons/deaconnesses, choir leaders, saved – praising Him to the Heavens, sharing, writing, teaching and spreading His Word, are a blemish in His eyes when we allow Satan to overcome our hearts, our spirits and demeanor with feelings of hatred, dislike, envy, even despising those who we can see in the physical, while proclaiming to Love a God in the spiritual that we cannot see.
Taking Holy Communion, preaching, teaching or ministering to others God’s Word, while harboring ill-feelings towards a family member, inlaw, neighbor, church member, coworker, different ethnic group or race, you eat and drink damnation unto your very soul. Be clear…God sees all. God knows all. You cannot hide from God as Adam and Eve found out in the Garden of Eden.
So, if you are on the receiving end of someone’s hatred or dislike of you for no known rational reason or, if in their twisted minds they have rationalized a reason for their feelings, what do you do? How do you Love someone in the face of their hate?
You extend Love and prayers while leaving them and their animosity towards you at the foot of the Cross where a just God will deal with them.
God does not expect you to matyr yourself in seeking the approval, acceptance or friendship of the person, relative, inlaw, neighbor or coworker who casts aspersions against you. No, not at all.
Yes Jesus was ridiculed, tortured, spat upon, cursed, crucified for speaking the truth, teaching God’s Love, forgiveness and how to be reconciled back to the Father. Even while hanging from The Cross Jesus asked God to forgive those who wrongly accused, tried, beat and crucified Him. The lesson we learn hear is that we are to pray and extend forgiveness and Love to those who hate us and turn them over to God to do the rest of the work needed to save their souls from eternal damnation.
Giving Love in the face of Hate is a challenging act of selflessness and demonstrates the strength of your Christian walk and maturity in understanding the true meaning of The Word.
We are not to fear the hatemongers for they can do nothing to us for as the saved of the Lord, we are already overcomers. We have victory in Christ Jesus. We have a home prepared for us. A Father waiting for us. A promise of eternal life. The challenges of this world are merely to give us a testimony to not only help us while in this realm, but also to be shared to draw others to Jesus.
Loving someone in the face of their hatred and dislike towards you is both a challenge and a blessing! Imagine that God chose you to demonstrate to that person a Godly-love in the face of their hate. There is a saying, “kill them with kindness.” It is so true. When they are rude, you elevate your respectful manners. When they hurl insults, you remind them that they are in your prayers. When they refuse to get to know you or speak to you, you wave and speak even if they turn their backs to you. Use scripture to penetrate their hardened hearts. Sweet words to tame their turbulent souls. Smile at the demon that has taken control of their spirits, rebuking the demon while praying for the afflicted.
Then allow God to do the rest. That’s how you conquer hate with Love. When the demon in them can see that their actions are not moving or disturbing you, they will either relent or be further consumed by the demonic spirit that has attached themselves to that individual.
Remember to pray. Remember to be humble. Remember to retain your cool so as not to disrupt your witness. But most of all remember this…God is in control!