Being still before the Lord does not always feel comfortable. As I am in my rest and recovery stage I have had many moments to be quiet before the Lord. On the most part, it’s a sweet exchange of love and devotion. However, today while reading 1 John 2 my heart was pricked by verse 9.
“Anyone who claimes to be in the light but hates his brother is still in the darkness.”
1 John 2:9
I have studied 1 John before and breezed right past this verse thinking, “I am sure glad I don’t hate anyone especially a sister or brother in the Lord.” But today a spiritual light bulb went on.
Hate derives from a strong dislike or ill will toward persons or things. As an emotional attitude, a person may oppose, detest, or despise contact with a thing or a person. Love and hatred often stand opposed. Wisdom says, there is “a time to love and a time to hate” ( Eccl 3:8 ). In the biblical record, every being may express or experience hate.
It’s hard to admit this let alone write about it but I promised I would always be honest with you so hang on and we’ll all see what God wants me to say.
We have many examples in the bible of what God hates we should hate as well.
The Bible says that God hates religiosity ( Isa 1:14 ; Amos 5:21 ), hypocrisy and lies ( Zec 8:17 ), wrongdoing ( Isa 61:8 ); divorce ( Mal 2:16 ), violence ( Mal 2:16 ), idolatrous practices ( Hosea 9:15 ), and the way the prophets are treated ( Jer 44:4 ). The theology underlying God’s hatred rests upon two essential qualities of God: holiness and justice. As a divine being with standards, God hates anything that despises, detests, or disregards those standards. In return, people hate God ( Psalm 139:21-22 ). Humanity may choose to follow in God’s path in hating anything that hates the Lord or his standards ( Psalm 139:22 ).
God hates evil but does that mean He hates the one who does the evil? Is it possible to hate the sin but love the sinner? I think it is but is it that easy? It should be as a follower of Jesus but that is not always the case.
We hold grudges, a persistent feeling of ill will or resentment resulting from a past insult or injury. Holding on to past transgressions does nothing to the person whom we feel have wrong us in some way. The person who rejected us. The one who gossiped about us, physically hurt us, emotionally, psychologically, in any way we have been hurt God cares about us.
At times the mention of the person’s name can raise a fire inside of us that keeps that hatred alive for days, months and even years.
I learned today that my hated towards people I believe have harmed me in any way…in any way is not being like Christ. Sure, I can go on hating and yet believing my hatred is justified but is that pleasing God.
When we concentrate on the transgressions we of others we simply overlook our transgressions to others. We’re short-sighted. We justify our hated or dislike towards others yet fail to see past the end of our own noses and being honest with ourselves.
We are all sinners and only by God’s great grace and mercy are we saved. If we choose to accept that gift of love.
Mercy is God’s compassion towards us. He doesn’t give us what we deserve, hell, but restores us to Him and wants a full and honest relationship with Him. No more holding back my sin. No more having grudges towards others no matter what that sin is or was.
Today, God revealed my sin in His gentle way He showed me through His word even though I’ve read that passage many times it just now spoke to me. God does that. That’s what makes Him an awesome God to serve.
Today He released me when I confessed my sin of hate. That is the victory in Christ. For years I have thought I walked in the light though I held hate in my heart I was in the dark.
But whoever hates His brother is in darkness and walks around in darkness; and he does not know whr he is going, because the darkness has blinded Him.
1 John 2:10
God brought me out of the dark and shone his light on me while I was still before Him.
When we are still before God He flushes the bad out of us and pumps in the good through His word, a teaching, a friend or His small still voice. It was a tough realization of mine and at first, it stung but I chose to confess instantly and He instantly gave me victory. I know that those hate feelings will come back but I have the Holy Spirit in me and He will give me victory one day at a time and draw me closer to Him.
“Be still and know that I am God,” Psalm 46:10,
I like to say “Be still and know that I am your God. He is my God and I am the daughter of the King.