Anger, resentment, jealousy and hate are terribly draining emotions. If you have any of these going on in your life then you’re going to be tired most of the time. They can be mentally exhausting.
Maybe you are free and clear of any of these. If so, you probably have a lot of good days and sleep better at night than people who constantly harbor ill will toward others.
All of these feelings are draining and don’t do anything positive for you. They don’t make life better. They don’t make you sleep or feel better. They don’t make you healthy. They end up being a heavy load to carry. Do you need that?
When you hate someone, you are not hurting that person. They are probably very unaware of your feelings. The only person you are hurting is yourself.
I won’t try to mention all the hate groups on the planet. We certainly know of too many who are at war with others. They fight and kill each other, continually. We know of hate groups in our own country. We see hate displayed on the news every day. Terrible things are done to innocent people in our country and around the world from wars, school shootings, bullying, murders, domestic abuse, and the list is long.
Corrie Ten Boom was a holocaust survivor whose family saved numerous Jewish people by hiding them in their home. She eventually became a prisoner herself and recalled being mistreated by a German soldier. Sometime after the war the soldier was in an audience where she was speaking. He walked up to her and extending his hand asked her to forgive him. It seemed like an eternity before she could respond. She knew exactly who the man was as she recalled the horrors of the camp. With God’s strength she said she lifted her hand and gave it to him and said, “I forgive you.” It wasn’t easy but she knew that carrying the load of hate that she had felt toward the soldier would be too great for the rest of her life.
Only you can determine who you can or can’t forgive and maybe there are those you cannot. Most people are not going to condemn you for hating someone who murdered your child or who abused you in some way. You have to determine what you can live with weighing on your mind and if the burden is worth carrying. Maybe it is, but maybe it’s not.
Jesus told his followers, by this shall all people know that you are my disciples if you love one another. He then told them that loving God was the greatest commandment and that loving their neighbors as themselves was the second greatest commandment. Another word from the Bible says love covers a multitude of sins.
The bottom line is love is greater than hate. Love feels better than hate. Who doesn’t love being in love? It’s not all about romantic love but it’s loving others, family, friends, neighbors, and people in general.
I don’t know how we will ever stop hate and realistically I guess the world will never be void of hate but it’s worth trying. You can’t change the world, but you can change your world and those with whom you routinely connect.
Dr. Glenn Mollette