Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Dealing with hatred

It's a bit of a strong title, but hatred is something we should be very wary of as Christians, as it can divide us from our friends, our brothers and sisters in Christ, and most importantly it distances us from God. This is why we must be wary!

In my bible meditation, I am working through Acts a verse or 2 at a time, and today's verses were Acts 23v14-15:

'They (the group of 40+ Jews) went to the chief priests and elders and said, "We have taken a solemn oath not to eat anything until we have killed Paul. Now then, you and the Sanhedrin petition the commander to bring him before you on the pretext of wanting more accurate information about his case. We are ready to kill him before he gets here."'
(emphasis added)

This God-following group of 40 Jews had sworn themselves under a curse to kill Paul because of his professed belief in Jesus. As the passage says, they went and tried to get the chief priests and elders in on this plot born out of unrighteous anger.

We have to be wary not just of hatred in ourselves, but of hatred in others as well, and how quickly it can spread - from us to others, and others to us if we are not guarding our hearts. But I was immensely encouraged again at God's provision against hatred, anger & a host of other sins - and that is his love as the guard in our hearts.

What does this mean for us? It means we must be vigilent & discerning by the holy spirit, not just for our hearts, but for those around us; that they'd be protected from other people's hatred, and that they'd have God's love melting that hatred away whenever it threatens to flare up.

Most importantly for us, are we confessing this sin to God when it first occurs in us? We must confess it & ask for God's love to cover it, if we're to be that shining light of righteousness, grace & mercy that we're called to be. If we're discerning by his spirit, testing the things we hear & think, and rooted in his love, then we will stand firm. Hallelujah! Hatred has no place to stand in a heart that's full to the brim with love.

Let's strive & seek God earnestly for hearts like this!



weird is just your own personal brand of normal

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