We often use the word hate in a glib way. “I hate vegetables,” or, “I hate Monday’s.” Such use of this word clouds the power that hate has to destroy. Hate is probably the most destructive emotion we have. It comes from a real hurt we experience and, if we don’t seek to overcome it, it bubbles to the top, overwhelming almost everything else.
Hate is a curious thing: when we let it into our minds and hearts it almost feels good. We imagine bad things happening to the one who has hurt us, as if it hurts them. But when we hate, the only person hurt is us.
If we had a physical injury, like a deep wound or broken bones, would it make sense to put off treatment so that we could savor the experience? Hate comes from spiritual or emotional injury, and it makes no sense to hold onto it.
Unless we recognize the hate we have within us, it will do real damage to us and even our loved ones. God knows when we are hurting; He also is aware of who and what hurt us. We can leave justice to God. Jesus said,
“But I say to you who hear, Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you.” (Matthew 6:27)
He did not say this so we’d suffer further hurt, but to heal us from the hurt that hatred builds within us. I realize that this isn’t something you want to hear when you have feelings of hate for someone who hurt you, but it’s the only way to healing.