Everyone who hates his brother is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life abiding in him.
1 John 3:15 ESV
Hate is a very strong and destructive emotion. Hate drives people to do unthinkable things to others. We see the carnage of hate every day. Lives are destroyed by hate. Hate destroys the hated, and the hater. The apostle John equates the hatred of one’s brother with murder, and that the one that hates his brother doesn’t have eternal life in him. In other words to hate one’s brother is deny one’s self eternal life in heaven. That is how powerful hate is, it can cause one to lose themselves eternally.
The other day one young man full of hate, killed nine people in a prayer meeting. They welcomed him into their meeting. He sat with them as they prayed, and then he killed them because of the color of their skin. It was the festering hatred that dwelt in his heart that drove him to murder those that had never done anything to him. The hatred he carried destroyed those nine lives, and the lives of those that loved them. That hatred destroyed his life, and the lives of those that love him.
Many will mourn the loss of the nine that died in that senseless act of hatred. They will have to face the rest of their days without the ones they loved, because one young man had so much hate in his heart. The loss of a loved one is hard enough when it occurs naturally, but to lose someone to an act of violence is so abrupt, and unexpected, there is no time to adjust to it. Their lives will never be the same because of the hate that one young man harbored in his heart.
The kind of hatred this young man had is not something he was born with, it was something he learned. We are not born to hate others. We learn it over time, through others. I was born to a man that had a hatred for people of color, and he wanted his children to hate them as well. Fortunately I grew up away of that influence, but here were others that still tried to influence my view of everyone that looked, or acted different than “us”. For a time I fell under that influence as a young man. But, thank God those influences are no longer influencing me. The word of God has shown me a different way.
Hatred of people has no place in the heart of a follower of Christ. We are all made in the image of God, and are equal in his sight. Everyone of us is so valuable he sent his own Son to die for us. We need to stop destroying others, and ourselves with hate. Hate kills.
Today, pray for those that have so much hate in their hearts. Pray they will see a different way. Today teach others to love by your example. Show them there is a better way. Show them THE WAY. Show them Jesus. Influence others with love, compassion, and concern for their well being.
© 2015 Leo J. Woodman