Hate. It’s a word that’s been used for centuries but it seems as if it’s getting more attention especially in light of recent bombings, mass killings and conflicts with law enforcement. We hear the word but do we stop to think about how that word affects us as individuals and where hatred begins?
Let me say this before I continue…I don’t expect everyone to agree with me or to even like what I’m about to say but this has been on my heart for a long time and I need to get this out.
Since the Treyvon Martin incident I have been struggling with hatred in my heart. I have been struggling with the injustice done to a minority by a majority. I have been struggling with how mass genocides can occur and no one blinks an eye; with how people can kill one another but claim to love God. I’ve been struggling with people who misuse God’s word to justify the coldness in their hearts. I feel this hatred growing when I watch the news, hear stories on the radio or read articles in the paper. It makes my angry to see how the actions of a few can shape perceptions of many. I get angry at a group of people for having a generalized mindset and I start to get comfortable in my anger. “How dare you look at me and only see the stereotypes that have been portrayed in the media? How dare you look at me and think that I’m something to be studied like an experiment? How dare you…wait Lord, is that you?” Before I start to get out of control with my anger the holy spirits convicts me. I realize that if I get upset at others I also need to get upset with myself. How many times have I laughed at racist jokes or judged a group of people based on a narrow viewpoint because of something I saw or heard. Those are the seeds of prejudice and bigotry and those are seeds I don’t want to grow.
A few years ago I read a book that really spoke to me. It was about a woman who was who was trying to balance her identity as a black woman with her identity as a Christian. She was trying to determine what was more important-the color of her skin or the spirit inside of her. She ultimately decided that her identity in Christ came before her identity as a black woman. I am praying that I can come to that conclusion as well. If we all came to the conclusion that our identities in Christ was the most important then any injustice no matter who it’s perpetrated against would break our hearts because any injustice no matter who it’s perpetrated against breaks Jesus’s heart. Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self control is the fruit of having the Holy Spirit (see Galatians 5:22-23). If we all let that rule in our lives when we encounter people we don’t understand we would seek to understand instead of spending our time seeking to fear.
I’m not saying I have it all figured out and I’m not saying those feelings of anger and hatred don’t show up but my constant prayer is for the Lord to remind me of His ultimate goodness and to help me see people as He sees them.
I don’t want to be a hateful person. Do you?