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There have been many days lately that I have struggled with hurt to the point of hate. I don’t think that anyone wants to feel hate for another person, especially for people we might have once cared for, or still do care for and love. Hate is a terrible way to live and experience life, and yet we make it a regular and acceptable part of our lives.

Sadly, everyone seems to hate someone or something these days. “I hate my job, boss, my coworker, this state (maybe just a CA thing) and that corrupt politician. I even hate my annoying neighbors (I actually did hate some neighbors a few years back… but they deserved it ;-)).” We all feel justified in our hate. No doubt media and social media have made it easier to perpetuate, but does it have to be this way? I don’t think so and I hope to encourage you toward the same perspective. Our world could stand to have a little less hate going around.

“Hate is love twisted and warped by disillusionment and despair.”

Author unknown – One Day at a Time in Al-Anon

We tend to hate…

  • What we don’t agree with or prefer
  • What makes us feel afraid
  • Those who have hurt or wronged us

Specifically I would like to talk about the hate that we experience caused by hurt from those close to us (check out this video for more). It seems fitting that if we can first figure out how not to hate those close to us, not hating others should be a breeze. Hurt that is not processed and addressed will inevitably result in hate for the other (even self hate). It’s very possible for small hurts to fester so long and become infected that they turn into mountains of hate that last for years.

When you are no longer “OK” due to the actions, attitudes and behaviors of another, be assured that something needs to be addressed. To not be “OK” because of the behaviors of others is given people permission to continue to hurt you. Let me ask you a simple question that you can only answer “yes” or “no.” Does your hate for that person help your current life situation?

It’s OK to Hurt, but it’s Not OK to Hate

“You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your Father in heaven. (Matthew 5:43-45a NIV)

You know I hate to pull the Jesus said so card, but here it is. It’s OK to hurt, but it’s not OK to hate. Healing does not grow in the garden of hate, but only in the garden of grace. Jesus not only said to not hate them, but to love them and pray for them. Dang Jesus!

I recently heard someone explain it this way… to love your enemies is an invitation to have no enemies. I like that a lot.

This concept can be applied to many areas of life. When we are hurt by someone our natural response can be to hate and hurt back. How different would our lives and our world be if we were able to respond with grace?

How To Stop Hate in It’s Tracks

  1. Acknowledge it. We have to first acknowledge the hurt that we have experienced. It’s far too easy to move from hurt to anger, so we must be able to slow down enough to just feel the pain. Next, we acknowledge the feelings of hate without judging or condemning ourselves. Allowing yourself to be aware of pain, hurt and hate helps you become conscious and when you are conscious it is really hard to stay stuck in pain. Whether or not the other person acknowledges it or not does not have to be the limiting factor.
  2. Plant some Grace. At this point, while in your right mind, plant seeds of grace. Remind yourself of God’s grace in your own life and thank Him. Remind yourself of how broken and imperfect you are and that the person who has hurt you is also in need of God’s grace, even if they don’t recognize their own need for it. Grace is a change agent. The love and grace of God can bring healing to the most broken of hearts and souls. Responding with grace does not mean allowing or excusing abuse. Responding with grace means making room for healing to grow and bear fruit. It is a gift we can give each other… not unlike the gift God gave us through Jesus.
  3. Pray and then Pray again. Jesus challenges our hate with the power of prayer. Not angry prayers, but prayers of healing and grace that wants to the best for you and the person who hurt you. Praying something like might help, “God give me grace so I can extend grace to those who have hurt me. Speak love and life to them. I trust you with my hurt and have no need for hate.”

Before we resort to hate, I would hope we would do as Jesus did by loving and extending grace to others. That’s the thing about grace… no one deserves or can earn it, it’s simply given as we have been given.

Coach Matt

Coach Matt

Matt has over 20 years experience as a pastor, organizational leader and coach. Matt is a survivor of pain, trauma, depression, anxiety, panic attacks, suicidal thoughts and codependency. He has learned to not only survive trauma and pain, but live a passionate and fulfilling life and loves helping others do the same.