There is only one person in this world I have ever really “hated.”
When I first experienced this new emotion, I was riding home with my sister Anna on the last rainy Tuesday in December 2010.
With bittersweet malice I asked, “Anna, can you avoid someone in heaven?”
Half a second later, the only bolt of lightning that winter shower produced shot across the sky.
After an uncomfortable moment of silence, Anna replies tentatively, “Dana, don’t say that again. The next one hits the car.”
You can’t fully grasp the concept of “strongly disliking” a person until you’ve been deeply wounded by someone you cared about.
Not just deeply wounded, but they struck you EXACTLY where it would hurt most.
The reason why Hate is so seducing is because it gives you a false sense of power.
The flavor of hate is like a fine wine.
To hate is to replace vulnerable pain with choking anger.
To fester in hate is to pride yourself into believing that somehow you have been made the victim and they don’t deserve anything good.
But like too much wine, it can become intoxicating.
It’s a dark, dreary, black hole that eats away at joy, life, love and peace.
It hurts your ability to love others, and ultimately, the ability to trust God.
The longer you let a worm live in an apple, the more it will eat away at the sweet, juicy insides.
You don’t realize how bad the damage is until the smell of rotting flesh overpowers your thoughts.
Where once was Life, there remains a dead leathery shell, drying stem and loose seeds.
Seeds. The cradle of life. A chance to start over.
God makes all things good, right? Look at the creation story. The only thing wrong with Creation-was Adam’s loneliness!
Why is it so hard to forgive?
I’ll tell you why.
Forgiveness relinquishes our fallible security in power, pride, and arrogance. It forces us to be vulnerable to hurting all over again.
But, like those seeds in the core of a dead and empty apple, God desires to plant in our lives the amazing ability to Overcome and become a New Creation.
If God created us for Fellowship, both with Him first-since obviously He was all Adam had until Eve was created, which essentially makes others second, then why should we let hate seperate us from each other?
Hate can make you lose trust in everyone. It hurts your Fellowship with believers, and your ability to witness to non-believers. Sometimes it isn’t intentional, but when you fester in hate, somewhere along the way something will trigger the pain you try to ignore, and you’ll react. You probably wont even necessarily mean to! Either way, your reaction will affect everyone around you.
a) you gain the composure to stop it
b) you’ve sobbed until the tears run dry
c) depression consumes you and you hide away from everyone
or d) you’ve chewed everyone and their dog out.
You wont be able to understand yourself until the blood clots again.
When you beg God to remove a piece of you you don’t like, He does. And His grace is overwhelming.
When you ask to make amends with someone close to you, peace is restored. Trust might not be replaced right away, but you know deep inside that your chance to prove yourself worthy of /their/ forgiveness is available at your earliest convenience-and something inside jumps for JOY at the thought, even through the fear that you might fail again, you are relieved to know you have a second chance.
“Our Father who lives in Heaven, your name is Holy. Bring Your Kingdom, as Your Will is done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us today our daily bread, and forgive us for our sins as we forgive those who sin against us, for YOURS is the Kingdom, YOURS is the honor, and YOURS is the glory, now and forever, Amen.”
In my heart, I know I can’t Fellowship with the Father while I marvel in vengeance and pray a thousand times a week that I could avoid this /one/ person for the whole of eternity.
Back in January 2011, God gave me the chance to give this person a moment to talk to me. He wasn’t very good at getting his lame apology across to me, and then blew his one opportunity to ever talk to me again.
Looking at my reactions to it after the fact, I probably wouldn’t talk to me again either.
When God said, “He’s going to contact you. Be nice.” I laughed.
God knew I wouldn’t and made a POINT to tell me what He expected of me.
Jesus expects all of us to forgive each other, no matter how much it costs us. It cost Him nails through his wrists, ounces of blood, absolute isolation and separation from God when he needed Him most, and a brief moment of eternity in hell in order to conquer Death.
What do you have to do to forgive? How much will it really cost you?
For me-only my pride.