It takes courage to not hate. It takes real work. We still struggle with hate; I know I do.

We want to think it's okay to hate racists; that's how we are able to justify the hate in our hearts. They want to think it's okay to hate Jews or people of African descent or Muslims, to justify themselves and their hatreds.

So we tell ourselves they are unrighteous and therefore we are better, and they tell themselves whatever they tell themselves and therefore they are better.

"We're right, they're wrong/bad/evil/lazy/immoral."

I realize I may not win any friends - or please my friends - when I say this, but human beings are all pretty good at hating. They are and we are.

I do think we are right in thinking that racism is wicked and wrong. From my perspective, that's incontrovertible. But if I *hate* people I see as racist, my hate is also wrong, and so I continue to struggle to not hate them.

Instead, I remind myself that God told us to "love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you."

Sometimes it's all I can do to pray that God love them because I just can't. Sometimes I remind myself that living with the fear and anger and hate that they seem to have has in itself wounded THEM, and how heart-breaking and soul-wounding it must be to carry that burden all the time.

I remind myself that at the end of his life, whatever else he was, Jesus was all about forgiveness. He forgave those who brought death upon him, because he understood they had lost touch with their touchstone, they truly did not understand why what they were doing was wrong, and he pitied them, not in any sense of dishonoring them, but because he knew the pain they felt when their whole [imagined] worldview came toppling down around their ears.

I aspire to this, and I fall short every day.

Hate is the root of evil. Hate is the root evil.

And hate grows in the soil of fear.

Fear is the root of the root.

And as has been written, "perfect love casts out fear." (1John 4:18)

Strive to love.

Paul wrote of the love of God when he said, "Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres." (1 Corinthians 13:4-7, NIV).

We are not required to consent to evil, we are still to cast it out.

But hating the haters? - no, that's not the answer.

  July 2020  
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