Letting Go Of Hatred

Steve Arterburn

 

 

It’s easy to say you love God but how do you show it?  God’s hoping you’ll show it by loving other people. In fact, God has so intertwined your love for Him with love for others that when you seek and surrender to Him, He requires that you give up your hatred and prejudice.

In first John chapter four, the apostle John wrote: ‘God is love, and all who live in love live in God, and God lives in them’If someone says, ‘I love God,’ but hates a Christian brother or sister, that person is a liar; for if we don’t love people we can see, how can we love God, whom we have not seen?  God himself has commanded that we must love not only him but our Christian brothers and sisters, too.’

Men, God simply doesn’t give us the option of hating our brothers and sisters while loving Him.  In fact, He doesn’t even give you the option of hating your enemies.  Jesus said, ‘But if you are willing to listen, I say, love your enemies. Do good to those who hate you. Pray for the happiness of those who curse you.  Pray for those who hurt you’ (Luke 6:27-28). Boy, that’s a revolutionary kind of love.

The bottom line is this: surrendering to God means surrendering your hatred as well.  And that, my friend, is something you can’t do on your own ‘ you need to depend upon God’s love, residing in you, to do that.

Tying Your Tongue

Steve Arterburn

Sometimes it’s good to just be quiet, and experience silence, and stillness. Not only in our relationship with God but also with others as well. If you’ll read and reflect on James chapter three, you’ll find that Scripture warns us about the use of our tongue. Just think about the damage caused by careless words, gossip, lies, sarcasm, hurtful comments, inappropriate humor and bitter arguments, and you’ll understand why James cautions us about the tongue.

You rememberthe old saying: ‘sticks and stones may break my bones but names will never hurt me’. It’s really not true, is it? In fact, the opposite is more often the case. Broken bones heal much quicker and easier than wounded spirits.

In the book of Ephesians, Paul said, ‘Don’t use foul or abusive language. Let everything you say be good and helpful, so that your words will be an encouragement to those who hear them’.

In light of what James and Paul wrote, it should cause you to think about guarding your tongue carefully. From the silence of not answering back when baited into an argument, to not spreading gossip, to forgoing that sarcastic remark that would’ve gotten a laugh at someone else’s expense, verbal self-control is a powerful to bless and encourage others.

A Servant’s Mindset

Steve Arterburn

 

Guys, your sin is not a private matter. It hurts everyone around you. The questions I would ask you to ask yourself are these: Is the power of sin at work in my life? Am I being honest about myself? Am I struggling with anger? Am I harboring bitterness? Do I have a critical spirit? Does my wife have my permission to speak to me about these things? Or is she afraid to bring anything up to me because I’ll snap at her or shut her out?

Men, what does God want you to do when you find the power of sin at work in you? Do you have the right or permission to isolate your heart when someone tries to come near? Are you justified telling your wife’either explicitly or by your actions’to get used to it, and join you in covering it up for the kids’ sake? The answer to both questions is a resounding ‘No’! The Lord is clear and consistent on what he wants from you: ‘Be earnest, and repent.’

Yet so many Christian men feel that their wives shouldn’t confront their sin, but should instead keep their distance, remain silent and silently pray. Well, praying silently and doing nothing more is God’s plan for dealing with the hard hearts of unsaved husbands! So if you already acknowledge Christ as your Lord and Savior, expect and be open to connection with your wife and friends. You really don’t have a license to shut out the people who love you and are reaching out to you. Take a step to be open ‘ to be humble, to be a man of God, in Christ!