Hate is a Strong WordHate is a strong word.  At least that’s what “they” always said when I was growing up.  Still, there are some things today that I can assure you that I hate.  Broccoli, for instance.  I hate getting stuck in traffic.  I hate when I am going through a struggle and instead of being supportive, a friend tells me what I should have done or what they would have done.  All of a sudden, I can think of a lot of things I hate.
I don’t often feel hatred toward people, because like we said, hate is a strong word.  Though at times I do experience a strong dislike for people.  The kind of dislike where I think to myself, “I want to be the bigger person…BUT…” and then I go on to justify why I can’t.

Have you ever been in a situation where you find someone completely annoying?

Hatred creeps in because you’re focus all of your energy on all of the things they do wrong?  Whenever that person comes around it’s excruciating to have a conversation with them or look them in the eye.  You think your life would be better if they weren’t in it.  Understanding their perspective and where they are coming from is nearly impossible because their way of thinking is so different from yours.
Usually hatred comes from a lack of understanding.  Instead of focusing on why a person is the way they are, or why they make the decisions they do, we focus only on their actions.  Their actions aren’t in line with our moral standards or values, and we see ourselves as “better.”
Here’s the thing: How can we say that we love God and are Christ followers, if we exhibit hatred in our hearts?  Hatred toward others separates us from God.

“God, create a pure heart in me.  Give me a new spirit that is faithful to you.” Psalm 51:10

We should build our hearts to be patient, non-judgmental, and undemanding.  Instead of justifying why we don’t need to be the bigger person by pointing the finger at someone else, we should just be the bigger person.  Understand that there is more to someone else than what we can see, and they may have other things in their lives that are causing them to act the way they do.
It is ok to have different values, and it is ok to agree to disagree.  At the end of the day, judgment isn’t in our hands.  It’s in God’s hands.  We need to love each other like Jesus loves us.  Flaws and annoying little habits included.

Prayer for today:

Dear God, There are times where I have trouble understanding others and sometimes a strong dislike creeps in.  Help me to see others how you see them. Give me the strength to change my heart and love people even when I disagree with them.  I want to be a good example of what it means to be a Christian.  Help me love others like Jesus loves me.  Amen.