Remedy for Hatred

In this season of love and good will, I’ve encountered a number of people who are consumed with hatred for others.  There is the obvious kind of hatred Featured imagethat manifests itself with bigotry, jealousy, and viciousness.  I’ve seen the hatred that exists between people who are either family or who at one time were good friends, and either an issue came up, or they took different sides or they didn’t approve of other people’s life choices.  In the faces of hate, are true ugliness.  I don’t like to be around it, and do everything I can to avoid being around such people.  At times this becomes difficult when you are a common friend to all the parties involved.

It makes me wonder, and ask the question, “At what point do we think its appropriate or acceptable to hurt another person, either physically or emotionally, and still think we are under the blessing of God?”  People can pretend that God does not see or care, or that God is on their side, but hateful actions are never God’s will. The real question is, are we His, or not? If we are his, we can not walk around hating and hurting others. Our lives need to reflect His life in us.  Its usually at this point that people point the finger at the other party and say, “yeah, but they did this or that….”   The real problem is not so much who did what.  The question in my mind, is “At what point did you stop valuing the other person more than the “thing” you are so upset about?  In a real sense you are selling out the other person for something or someone else.

People make choices all the time, and I get that.  People will value some people over others.  Everyone has their favorites.  The problem is how we treat people.  My mother taught me that common decency was not having to love everyone, but at least treating everyone with kindness.  To my great sadness, I am watching people abandon that idea, and instead will treat each other horribly, speaking evil of others, and engaging in character assassination, while feeling justified about it.  If we are supposed to be the people of God and our lives reflect His life in us, how can harboring hatred and acting on it reflect His love?

The sages tell us that the Holy Temple was destroyed because of baseless hatred.  Baseless hatred turns even a holy place into a profanity.  Being religious, praying, following rituals and traditions, which are good in and of themselves, are transformed into a profanity when we walk in hatred.  No amount of prayers or rituals will cover the sin of hatred.   No one likes a phony.  Bullshit in the name of God is profane.  No one is fooled by it, and God does not accept it.

Malachi 2:2 says, “If you will not hear,
And if you will not take it to heart,
To give glory to My name,”
Says the LORD of hosts,
“I will send a curse upon you,
And I will curse your blessings.
Yes, I have cursed them already,
Because you do not take it to heart.”

It takes unbelief to not fear God; to not care what He thinks.  The remedy for hatred is to stop it.  Lay down your arms.  Surrender.  Seek the good of others and show them love.  If you can’t get past the emotions, give them to God and ask Him to help you.  If you can’t get along with them, then forgive and move away.

There are people I have forgiven whom I still can not be around.  I just stay way from them.  Sometimes you just have to walk away.  The main thing is, to cease hostilities.  I will not act in hatred, even if they do, and even if they deserve it.  Its better to just keep my distance, and ask God to deal with them.  Sometimes, its all you can do.

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3 thoughts on “Remedy for Hatred

  1. It seems to me that one of the biggest culprits here is lashon hara. Just about the first thing the hater will do is spread the hate as far as he can. The hatee may not even know about it until he finds people are starting to treat him oddly. It’s like cancer, and the first one that gets destroyed by it is the hater. Many times, as soon as the hatee finds out, he becomes the counter-hater, and the circle is established.

    I always think of the CEO of Apple, who said the greatest gift God has given him is that he is a homosexual (he called it gay). Of course we know all the things wrong with that statement, but I think it is symptomatic. The man creates an imaginary god that suits him, and blames his misdeeds and misstatements on his god as if it were God. The idea, also, that someone else’s sin justifies and even encourages mine, is rampant.

    Life is nowhere near as complicated as we try to make it. Scripture tells us everything we need to know, and it is up to us to observe what we have been told.

    Rabbi, you are wise beyond belief. One of the greatest blessings God has given me is your acquaintance and friendship.

  2. I understand your point completely, Rabbi Michael. I also have people that I must keep a distance from. Sometimes, in the extreme circumstances, I find that peace prevails only in the form of distance. Understanding, compromise, resolution are all to be considered greater, but when all else fails, managed strategic distance seems to be the best available solution for everyone involved, to include me.

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