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On Hatred's Destruction
by David Domzalski
11/15/2016 / Mens Issues
We love to hate.
It's so true. You know you hate something. Or is it someone? Is it a group of people? A fan of an opposing team? A certain chore or task?
Whatever it is we hate and we do it (and say it) often. Yes, even Christians can hate. In fact, we may be the most hating bunch of all.
We hate people who have abortions.
We hate people who are gay and want to marry.
We hate people with certain ethnic backgrounds.
We hate people from this political party or that one.
We hate that team's players and that team's fans.
We hate atheists.
We hate Christians from "that" denomination.
But, why do we hate? And how can we call ourselves Christians and hate so much?
Sure, you can blame society or the media. The fallen world's messages of hate don't really help us not to hate.
Is it our upbringing? Sure, we had certain influences in our lives growing up that may be the reason behind certain belief systems. That's fair.
Oh, I know. The devil. Yep, he's the reason for all of my hatred. Absolutely true, in part.
However, can we really blame it all on outside circumstances and influences? What about our own pride? What about a lack of control of our minds? What about our hearts? What about giving in to our passions like anger?
We don't control our hatred. Mostly because we never really think to and it's usually a reaction to the thing we hate. Hatred isn't a logical or thoughtful choice (or sin or vice), it's reactionary. We see the object of our hate and we lash out. I hate him! I hate that! I hate them! Damn those people to hell!
Friends, tell me, is that what Jesus taught us? If we call ourselves Christian, how can we honestly say we are living the Word if we continue to hate?
Now, please, don't let my writing here confuse you. I am not perfect. There are things I do and people that I know that I hate. I would be the greatest of hypocrites to sit here and pretend I am holier than thou. I am not. I am a sinner just like you. And I have hatred that swells up inside of me too like a burning fire. It's bad. And, yes, I lash out too and have some epic rants.
Consider the ramifications of our hate. As Christians, we are often considered one of the groups that hate the most. We judge. We condemn. We ridicule. We think we're better. But, are we?
Shouldn't we be like St. Paul and consider ourselves chief among sinners? Shouldn't we be putting ourselves last rather than first?
On top of that, what about the Church? We hate "those" people so much that we would never want them into our church. To the extent that we will not concede the Word or tradition, yes I agree that we should not bend to the world to bring others into the church. That's not what I'm saying.
I am thinking more along the lines of St. Augustine who called the Church "a hospital for sinners." We are all sinners. That includes you, me, and those who we hate. Instead of hating others who are created in God's image as we are, maybe we should focus on hating the sin of the devil. Yes, the old adage, hate the sin not the sinner. But, it's more than that. We need to show love, grace, mercy and kindness to those we hate to our supposed enemies. Isn't that what God does for all of us?
The devil divides. Hatred divides. Let's not be the source of our own division. Put aside hate. Learn to love your fellow men and women (and I will learn too). In the end, the Church will grow and God will use our lives in ways we never thought possible.
I think that's worthy of a prayer today. Amen.
David Domzalski is an Orthodox Christian who is out to help others draw closer to God. He lives in Gettysburg, PA with his wife, son, and pug. Visit David at http://DavidTheRunner.com and follow him on Twitter @DavidDomzalski. God bless all of you.
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