Contend Earnestly: I Hate, What Now?

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

I Hate, What Now?

I am struggling recently. The reason is because I have some real, true hatred towards some people. I hate what they have done to my life, I hate what they have done to me spiritually and I say that I have forgiven, but I have not. In reality, I hate them. I don't want good for them. I want them to fail miserably. I want fire to come down from heaven and destroy them. Have you ever felt this way towards another? It is draining. I know all the verses of the Bible that speak on hatred and I know that I should be forgiving and I have told myself that I have forgiven them, but in reality, I know that I haven't. The question isn't, "what should I do about my past?" the real question is, "what am I going to do in my present so my future is about Christ and not hatred?"

I know that there are others out there who have come across this harsh reality in their lives, yet most in the Christian circles will just smile at them and pat them on the back and tell them to "forgive and forget." Well, to be honest, it's not that easy. These are real emotions and a reality that doesn't go away by praying a mantra to a fairy god of healing in the sky. One of the things that I love about God is that he isn't always a miraculous, instantaneous healer, but he allows you to work things out while he is there with you comforting and aiding you. Honestly, during this time, I love verses like these:

O that You would slay the wicked, O God;
Depart from me, therefore, men of bloodshed.
For they speak against You wickedly,
And Your enemies take Your name in vain.
Do I not ahate those who hate You, O Lord?

And do I not loathe those who rise up against You?
I hate them with the utmost hatred;
They have become my enemies.
Psalm 139:19-22

You have also made my enemies turn their backs to me,
And I destroyed those who hated me.
They cried for help, but there was anone to save,
Even to the Lord, but He did not answer them.
Then I beat them fine as the dust before the wind;
I emptied them out as the mire of the streets.
Psalm 18:40-42

Those verses are awesome to focus on during hate, because you get to focus in on God destroying those jerks you hate so much. But, like anything, too much focus on one end is going to bring a spiritual war where you know you are hell bent in the wrong direction. The question really is, "How do you get through this hatred so that it doesn't control you?" Because isn't this the worst part of hatred? The worst part is that those you spend the most time hating, control your emotions and spirit from afar. Brutal. I am writing this in the middle of hatred, not in the beginning, not looking back, but I am smack in the middle of it. I figured that I would provide an answer to those who are also going through this, or who will in the future.

1. Know That God Is In Control

Most of the times that we see David in the Psalms speaking of hatred, he then entrusts himself to God. I have to remind myself of this. God is not only in control, but he is allowing me to go through this for the betterment of my joy and his glory. I have to make sure I really focus in on this. Rage and reaction happens when I am not happy with what God is doing with his control or the pragmatic belief that he is not in control. I can recite verses, but until I allow God to work on my heart to understand that he truly is in control, I will continue in my hatred and allow those I hate to control me, instead of the Spirit.

Look at how some of these verses end in regard to those you hate:

I hate those who regard vain idols,
But I trust in the Lord.
I will rejoice and be glad in Your lovingkindness,
Because You have seen my affliction;
You have known the troubles of my soul,
And You have not given me over into the hand of the enemy;
You have set my feet in a large place.
Psalm 31:6-8

Never pay back evil for evil to anyone. Respect what is right in the sight of all men. If possible, so far as it depends on you, be at peace with all men. Never take your own revenge, beloved, but leave room for the wrath of God, for it is written, “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,” says the Lord. “But if your enemy is hungry, feed him, and if he is thirsty, give him a drink; for in so doing you will heap burning coals on his head.” Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.
Romans 12:17-21

Notice that although emotions run high in human beings, that both David and Paul point us back to the one who is in control and is just, therefore having the right to bring down judgment. We must not just recite these verses, but truly try and live them out.

2. Pray

God knows your heart. Don't be fake. Don't pray for your enemies if you don't mean it. If you do, you will be like those who praise God with your lips but your heart is far from Him. Pray that God would be working on your heart and working on your satisfaction in Him instead of man. Even Jesus didn't entrust himself to man because he knew their hearts (John 2:24,25). Usually, when you hate it's because you put too much trust in man and in some way made them your functional saviour. You need, I need, to pray that God exchanges that functional saviour to the real Saviour who never disappoints and never leaves us. We need this to be a heart change to Jesus, that only comes through prayer and the leaning on the Spirit of God who comforts his own. As the transformation starts to happen, I am guessing it will be easier to truthfully pray for my enemies. At this point...if I pray for my enemies I am lying.

3. Look to Jesus, Recognize the Pharisee

Jesus was the most undeserved person to ever be hated, yet he was. I am not saying that we should get some "hatred" complex, but what I should do is notice that I am not like Jesus, who was hated, but when I hate another, I am like the Pharisees. Remember that you, I, am doing the hating, not being hated. When we look at the Scriptures, the one who is hated, is like Jesus and the one doing the hating, is the self righteous Pharisees. This hurts. This reality sucks. But, the reason that we hate is because we truly believe that we "would never do that to someone" that we "deserve better", we really believe that we are better than others when we hate. What I am going to do is look up all the verses of the Pharisees and instead of putting the word "Pharisee, Sadducee or Scribe" I am going to put my own name in the text.

Both Seth began to grumble, saying, “This man receives sinners and eats with them.”
Luke 15:2

Then Seth went and plotted together how they might trap Him in what He said.
Matt 22:15

You are blind Seth, first clean the inside of the cup and of the dish, so that the outside of it may become clean also. Woe to you, Seth, hypocrite! For you are like a whitewashed tomb which on the outside appear beautiful, but inside they are full of dead men’s bones and all uncleanness.
Matt 23:26,27

When I hate, I am a functional Pharisee. I need to return to the cross and our Christ.

Hatred is real. It's not a fake emotion, but one that takes you over. It causes cynicism and true pessimism in everything. I need to realize it's danger and put it at the feet of the cross. I can't just give up and say that, "this is just how I am." This is what those who aren't Christians do, or really immature Christians who don't believe in the changing power of the Spirit. I need to realize that I am not my own, I am made in the image of God and I have the Spirit who dwells in me and God tells me:

No temptation has overtaken you but such as is common to man; and God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will provide the way of escape also, so that you will be able to endure it.
1 Corinthians 10:13

This where I am going to start. I am not sure how it will work out, but I pray that in this situation, God's glory wins out and not my own. At some point, I have to ask whether or not I am going to feed my idolatry of self, or if I am going to feed off of the Bread of Heaven, who is my real God who never fails. Any other god is a joke, especially myself and I laugh at my dumb self everytime I realize that I am making myself an idol. When I do this I go to Elijah's words of "encouragement" about this god that I worship instead of our Jehovah. Because, just like Baal, my god, which is myself in hatred, will always fail and not show up:

Then they took the ox which was given them and they prepared it and called on the name of Baal from morning until noon saying, “O Baal, answer us.” But there was no voice and no one answered. And they leaped about the altar which they made. It came about at noon, that Elijah mocked them and said, “Call out with a loud voice, for he is a god; either he is occupied or gone aside (Hebrew for "relieving oneself"), or is on a journey, or perhaps he is asleep and needs to be awakened.” So they cried with a loud voice and cut themselves according to their custom with swords and lances until the blood gushed out on them. When midday was past, they raved until the time of the offering of the evening sacrifice; but there was no voice, no one answered, and no one paid attention.
1 Kings 18:26-29

Now that's funny. May God intervene in this and display his glory on my heart that I might not follow after a failing god in myself, but follow and surrender to our true God for his glory and my joy.


Lifting Jesus Higher said...

Love the article.

Darlene said...

Dear Seth,

I, too, have experienced such anger and hatred as you. It consumed my thoughts and ate away at the peace of Christ within my heart.

Truthfully, a part of me wanted to hold on to my anger and take vengeance upon the one/ones whom I perceived had committed such unjustifiable wrongs against me. I wanted even to convince myself that I possessed righteous anger toward the those who had wronged me so egregiously. In the end, I was the one who suffered.

Finally, I learned that the answer was to cast myself upon the mercy of God. Each time that I felt the urge to indulge in my anger and hatred, I sought the Lord to deliver me. Believe me, this kind of repentance and petitioning God became a way of life for me. I became keenly aware of how often the enemy of my soul tempted me to hate those who had wronged me. And such casting myself upon God's mercy at first was a discipline, a dying to myself.

I can say now that prayer is what delivers us from such evil thoughts and intentions of the heart. Fasting is also of great benefit in that it urges the soul to cry out to its Maker even more for dependence.

I now regard those same people as persons made in the image of God, and though the image may be marred, I am commanded by Christ Jesus to love them as myself. No longer do I have malice toward them, but rather I desire their salvation, that they may one day enjoy the blessings of God in this age and in the age to come.

Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner.

Anonymous said...

If you were on the mission field and the people you were ministering to got things wrong, would you get angery? Would you hate them? If they thought you should worship the "stone" would you hate them? I think not! I think you would love them and understand that they don't yet understand as they should, you would be patient and understanding I believe. These "other" people you "hate"... I bet they believe they are serving the Lord to the best of their understanding. I bet they take the stands that they do with a loving heart for their Lord just like I believe you do.

Now the key to my comments: Just like on the mission field, Why would you not love these other people? Why would you not pray for them and a clear understanding. Why not have loving patience as Paul did in 1 Cor. I would think you would only want the best for them, So they are wrong and they can't see it! Your anger and hate will not draw them to the truth but your love might. I would think you would only want a true and deeper understanding for them. A true understanding takes time, it takes patience, it takes love. Have you asked yourself why God allowed you to go through your trials? He did you know...He allowed you to get angery and feel this hatered and learn from it. I would thank Him! Thank Him for the lesson you are learning! It is an important lesson to love the unloveable! He asked you to love...Do you trust Him through this test? I think that is the real question! God did not send us to the church just to be fed by the church and make sure they get everything right! If that was the case, He would give us a clear understanding right from the start! God sent us to learn and to feed the chruch. Feed the church made up of mortal men! Could the church be your mission field? Not now, first you need to learn to love but maybe someday.
Just a thought.

Steve said...

I used to feel that way, not too long ago, in fact. But it subsided and in every case, I learned that _I_ was in the wrong. Not that I was necessarily the cause of the situation that ultimately resulted in the hatred, but I certainly wasn't perfect either.

I've found that with age came the maturity to not get so worked up about things, and to realize that I could have handled some of the situations of the past a little better. And ad the time, I thought I was the one being wronged and that I was justified and the other person was wrong. For sure. Then a few years ago, I discovered what an *hole I really was. I struggle to this day to not become that person again.

I'm not saying this is you, but you'll get over your anger if you truly want to. It will only eat at you if you let it.

Seth McBee said...


I don't hate people because of wrong theology, so I am not sure why you bring that up.

Again...not sure why those who post anonymously assume to know me or what I am struggling with.


I agree with your thoughts on this and agree for the most part. The only reason I have gotten worked up on this time is because it has been a full on attack on my wife, not only myself...and that really pisses me off and gets me this partly a righteous anger? Yes. Is it also sinful? Yes.

Do I suck? Yes. Do I need to pray, seek forgiveness and seek to love them? Yes.

I am trying to do all these things and this post was more like a public journal entry because I know some have had the same issues and still do.

Anonymous decided to use this as a time to preach to me when presuming they know the situation at hand. I also know this is part of blogging so I will let it go, and shouldn't really surprise me.

Thanks for the comments.

Steve said...


I figured this post was more of a journal entry than a teaching opportunity type entry. I too took the opportunity to use my response as a journal entry as well.

As we both know, I don't know the situation and am surprised to hear your wife is being attacked. That sucks and I hope it stops soon. I can totally understand how angry you must be for that. I know I would be as well. Nobody in the body should be attacked. When the body attacks itself, it's just like cancer.

Let's grab some Jimmy Johns soon.


stephy said...

Don't let anyone shame you for your anger. Jesus was angry. He was a man of sorrow and acquainted with grief, and in half the Psalms the psalmist is raging at God, as in the passage you quoted. I think God honors your being honest with him.

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