He who hates his brother is in darkness and walks in darkness, and does not know where he is going, because the darkness has blinded his eyes.
Yesterday, I became very angry. As a result, I acted hatefully. My wrath was aimed at a person I love. Grievously, it was witnessed by others. So how could I, a devotion writer, a supposedly Spirit-filled Christian, erupt in such a mean-spirited way? (BTW, I was certain I was right.)*
Recently, Christians have become angry. As a result, they're acting hatefully. Their wrath is aimed at people the Lord loves. Grievously, it is witnessed by others. So how could they, ambassadors for Christ, who are supposed to be acting like Christ, erupt in such mean-spirited displays? (BTW, they are certain they are right)**
Consequently, I've been in the Bible, in reflection and surely in prayer.
Actors, models and talent for Christ:
1) Hatred is not a witness of Christ. Instead, it's a witness of Satan. 'If someone says, 'I love God,' and hates his brother, he is a liar' (1 John 4:20). If the people you hate aren't Christians, then consider them your neighbors; 'Love thy neighbor' (Mark 12:31) is God's Commandment.
And if they're not Christians or neighbors, but persecute you like enemies? 'I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you' (Matthew 5:44).
2) Left untreated, anger becomes wrath, and wrath becomes a seething hatred. 'Be angry, and do not sin: do not let the sun go down on your wrath, nor give place to the devil' (Ephesians 4:26-27). Thereby, Satan gains ground in your life. Therefore, pray, seek peace and make amends.
BTW: When you feel certain you're right, you're wrong. 'There is no one righteous, not even one' (Romans 3:10); 'Indeed, there is no one on earth who is righteous, no one who does what is right and never sins' (Ecclesiastes 7:20). Except Jesus.
To Be Continued...
* Paul illustrates than even Spirit-filled believers can become angry at others (ex: when Paul had a blowout with his close friend, Barnabas, over John Mark, who would later write the Book of Mark. See Acts 15:36-40: https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Acts+15%3A36-40&version=NKJV.) Jesus teaches us that Satan will not cease tempting us toward bad decisions. Consider the end of His desert trial: 'Now when the devil had ended every temptation, he departed from Him until an opportune time' (Luke 4:13)... meaning, Satan would return to bother even Jesus again and again.
** Westboro Baptist Church: http://www.godhatesfags.com
** Short article: What does the Bible say about hate? http://www.gotquestions.org/Bible-hate.html
P.S. To read the other devotions in this series, please see the Judgment series.