1 John 4:20- “Whoever claims to love God yet hates a brother or sister is a liar…” OUCH! This verse hit me hard this week. It was a wake-up call and a reminder that as a Christian woman, more is expected of me.
My deep dive into the bible to find this verse started because of a conversation I had with a dear, Christian friend of mine earlier in the week. We were drinking lemonade outside, discussing our families, current events, and our faith. I shared with her that recently, I have felt hate in my heart for certain high-ranking politicians. I told her that I began to notice this within me and sometimes I would let it fire me up and other times, I would recognize the hate and apologize to God in prayer. Either way, the hate is real, it is a problem and it is a sin. As the verse basically says, if I claim to love God (which I do), I cannot also hate one of God’s children.
Many of you may feel my pain because now more than ever our society is divided by politics and opinions are strong. We feel justified in our anger and hate because we truly believe that certain politicians are without morals, integrity, honesty, and more. It is easy to fall into this trap of hate, which is exactly what the devil wants us to do. As Christians, we need to be reminded that when we hate, we push ourselves away from God and closer to Satan. I know I don’t want to be close to Satan and I am certain you don’t want to be either.
So how do I get past this hate? How do I try to control this when I feel like I have little control over it? My friend made a suggestion. She suggested that I pray for the individuals I am feeling hate for. When she first suggested this, most of me was like “Ugh…I don’t know if I want to do that. I cannot stand them.” But, the longer we discussed it, the more I knew she was right.
What she suggested isn’t news to Christians. We know this is what God asks of us, but sometimes we need to be reminded of it. I left our visit thanking her and actually feeling a bit relieved. I was relieved because I don’t want to hate anyone. Hate doesn’t feel good whether it is directed at me or if I am directing it towards others. This is why God and the bible teach us not to hate. God loves us and wants what is best for us.
If you are a democrat you may be feeling massive hate towards President Trump and if you are a republican you may be feeling genuine hate for individuals like Nancy Pelosi. It doesn’t matter what side of the political spectrum you are on—your hate serves no one and nothing. It only hurts you. So just as I needed this reminder this week, perhaps you do too.
I know I want to love God the best I can so I need to keep this verse at the forefront of my mind. ~1 John 4:20: “Whoever claims to love God yet hates a brother is a liar…” I hope you plan to keep it close at hand too.