Devotional Thought

Stop the Hate

Two gang members had just beaten up a teen girl at the local high school. “Why did you do it?” the police officer asked. “Because she was wearing the tattoo of a rival gang,” the boys answered. “She deserved what she got. We hate them all!

There is so much anger and hatred in our world and in our communities. Every day we see or hear about senseless acts of violence.

Hatred isn’t just a problem for gang members. It is a problem for all of us. Hatred is a result of sin. It is a part of our sinful human nature. Hatred can fill up our lives and waste us away — physically and spiritually.

When someone is in an accident, internal bleeding can be a serious danger. The person may look good, but if left untreated, may die.

You may be good-looking and respected, but is the internal bleeding of hatred poisoning your life? Do you hate someone right now? Has someone hurt you so badly that you wish him or her harm?

Jesus tells us in the Bible, “Anyone who hates his brother is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life in him” (1 John 3:15).

The sin of hatred can fester in our hearts and easily lead to outward sins of violence and injury.

Jesus wants us to “love your neighbor as yourself” (Matthew 22:39). St. Paul writes, “Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. . . . Live in harmony with one another. . . . Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everybody. If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone” (Romans 12:14ff).

There is a solution to hatred. Jesus Christ is the solution! He is the source of love and harmony. “God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish about have eternal life” (John 3:16).

Sin leads us to hate; faith in Christ leads us to love. “We love because he first loved us” (1 John 4:19).

Pastor R.