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.

Always Remember

Steve Arterburn

 

Have the benefits of your transformed life caused the memories of your previous lifestyle to fade? Do you remember what you once were before Jesus Christ and His Holy Spirit entered your life? Can you recall the darkness before you experienced the light? As you see the lost around you, are you aware that apart from God’s grace, you’d be lost too ‘ right there amongst them?

Men, you should never wallow in, or be a slave to, your past. But, don’t ever forget where you came from, and how you were brought to where you are now. Paul told Titus: ‘Once we, too, were foolish and disobedient. We were misled by others and became slaves to many wicked desires and evil pleasures. Our lives were full of evil and envy’But then God our Savior showed us His kindness and love. He saved us, not because of the good things we did, but because of His mercy. He washed away our sins and gave us a new life through the Holy Spirit.’

You’ve lived in sin. Your heart was acquainted with pain, hopelessness, and spiritual confusion. Remember, you were saved because of the love and kindness of God’period. You didn’t save yourself. And you weren’t saved because you were good, or because your life was so resplendent that God was put in your debt.

Don’t ever forget this, guys. It will keep you humble and it will give you hope for others.