The Arrogance of Hate
Matthew 5:43,44 You have heard that it was said, You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you…
If you are like me, you read some passages and just pass them by as they really have nothing to do with you. I do not have any enemies so I really do not have much to work on here. As far as I know there are not a lot of people out to get me and I treat everyone with kindness and respect, except for those who just do not deserve it of course.
You know who I am talking about, those people who are just defective to the core. Surely God is not honestly asking me to love them. I do not hate them but I am not expected to love and pray for them am I? They are not just defective, they have, in their defect, hurt me.
Sometimes I read Jesus words and think, You have got to be kidding me. I absolutely do not have to love those people. They are despicable, deplorable and degenerate. There is something wrong with them. They are broken.
The hateful thoughts in my head betray my condescending, arrogant attitude about those whom I think myself better than. The fact that I find someone to be worthy of my derision because they are defective betrays my own defect.
In my defect, I believe myself to be in better standing before God than the one whom I find to be worse than me. I am as a blade of grass, one millimeter taller than the one next to me, looking arrogantly down on it because I feel I am closer to the sun. How foolish my one millimeter of arrogance must look to the sun, 93 million miles away.
Likewise, God, I think, looks at my arrogance and finds it to be foolishly self-destructive. He loves me though I have never deserved it. He loves me despite my defect. He wants me to love him in return. So, He insists I am to love my enemy as in my hatred and animosity, I am not able to love and focus on him.
It is in my enmity that I focus on self instead of God, thus injuring not my enemy, but myself. When I exercise my right to be offended and hateful, I dislocate myself from my right position before God. I evict him from that part of my life in which I harbor hatred and enmity. In loving my enemy, I maintain my rightness before him and so, remain in communion with him.
It may certainly have some effect on my enemy to love him or her. God is likely working in that individual. His command to love and pray for my enemy however, is not for my enemy. It is for me. Choosing hatred injures me. It is only in choosing love that I turn my focus from self to God.