Love Must Resist Hate
It can be very difficult to find a way to love and forgive those who hate us or those who have done us wrong. All of us, at some point in our lives, have faced betrayal, been let down, or perhaps have been left with a broken heart. It is natural to either retaliate or feel resentment against those who do us wrong.
Social media does not help us; it has encouraged a culture of hate. I see it every day. Hate has prompted an increase in violence towards people who are different from us in their ethnic backgrounds, beliefs, and social statuses. This is exactly what the enemy wants us to do; he delights when we do the opposite of what Jesus taught us to do: “Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you” (Luke 6:27).
Jesus calls us to love our enemies. He instructs us to go beyond our selfish selves and love others because He first loved us. Jesus sets the perfect example of how to love those who hate us. As Jon Tyson states in his book Beautiful Resistance, “God loved us even when we were His enemies. Jesus died for us while we were enemies of God.” We must love like Jesus does. We must be known as people who love because that’s how the world will know we are followers of Christ (John 13:35).
Jesus had all the reasons in the world to dismiss humanity because He was hated by many. Instead, He did the opposite—rescuing humanity when He died on the cross, carrying with Him the sins of the world, including the sins of those who hated Him.
Hate can take us hostage and overwhelm us with negative emotions such as envy, bitterness, dishonesty, pride, and even a desire for revenge. When this happens, our hearts have no room to allow the Holy Spirit to empower us to forgive and to love.
Let us pour out any feelings of resentment at the foot of the cross, releasing any burden of hate in our hearts and allowing His love to transform us.