Hating other Christians? Oh, I don't do that, do I? I think as I listen to my pastor's sermon.

He reads the definition of the word "hate" from the dictionary, and I'm still not sure it applies to the situation that has popped into my head.

Hate? Me? No.

Sure, sometimes I might not like a certain person very much, particularly someone who has done me wrong. I might not like to be around them. I may get frustrated when things always go their way.

Then it hits me. The things I just listed in my head - are they really much different from hate?

When I feel these things, it certainly isn't love I'm feeling. It's not honoring to the Lord. And it does, in fact contribute to the very thing my pastor is saying hate contributes to . . .

A hindrance in my personal fellowship with God.

The passage for the sermon clearly states that if a Christian hates his brother, he is walking in darkness - not in the "light", fellowship with the Lord (1 John 2:9-10).

For all intensive purposes, the feelings I checked off in my head are hate. It isn't comfortable to call it that, but it is the truth.

I feel a tightening in my chest. This sermon is hitting too close to home.

I realize I've never seen those feelings as what they are before, but suddenly in the light of this passage it is extraordinarily obvious that they are wrong.

I have hated my brother in Christ. And it has inevitably affected my relationship with my Heavenly Father.

I lean forward as our pastor describes a story of two brothers who had an argument and didn't see each other for years. The one brother becomes a Christian. One day he sees his brother on a busy street, and immediately all the old anger comes back. But as he looks at his brother and sees how he resembles their father, his anger melts away.

He says "When I saw my Father in his face, my enemy once again became my brother."

God loves all those who belong to Him. When I see my enemy as a person whom God loves, whom He died for, whom He lives in today because they are a member of the body of Christ, it becomes hard to harbor bitterness or hate in my heart toward them, no matter what they might have done to me. The "enemy" once again becomes my brother.

I don't want to hate my brother. I don't want to walk in darkness. I want to dwell in the light of sweet fellowship with my Savior.

I leave the sermon knowing that I need to have a long talk with Jesus about this. But I also leave feeling the light of fellowship twinkling back into the dark places again. Because already I can feel the hate and bitterness that has built up melting away, and a desire to act in love replacing it.

It's amazing what God's love and light can do.

P.S. I just wanted to clarify that this post is regarding situations in the past with people I don't really talk to (I used the word "brother" because that is the word used in the passage, but that doesn't mean it couldn't be a sister). I just don't want anyone thinking that I was having bitter feelings toward them! That's the risk I take by sometimes sharing my struggles so openly, but please don't read anything more into it than what I said, because it's not a big deal.
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Unknown said...

Gosh... great post Callie. I think I need to read this over and over lately.

Melanie said...

This is a really eye opening post Callie. Wonderful sermon your pastor preached..everyone needs to hear this for sure..I'm glad you shared!

Kelli Herrington said...

Wow girl this is an awesome post I like you didn't really give it much thought before and now this post has really opened my eyes.Have a great week and so glad you shared this!

Anne said...

That is convicting. Just last night Derek and I were having a conversation, and he was saying how he was convicted of hating instead of loving. He brought up a few interesting points - like do we really love other people or just hate to be alone? Do we really love sleep or just hate waking up or being tired? It's interesting to think of how many things we think we love, but really we just hate something else.

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