Those who hate others are murderers, and you know that murderers do not have eternal life in them. – 1 John 3:15
Christians sometimes struggle with hateful thoughts, and even more so with the understanding of the verse above. But glory to God, this teaching puts an end to all such struggles.
Now firstly we must realize that love, the opposite of hatred, is synonymous with giving life. (See John 14:15, John 3:16, Romans 5:8). Moreover, more clearly in 1 John 3:16, Love is explained thus: This is how we know what love is: Christ gave His life for us. We too then, ought to give our lives for others. Negating this verse and we easily have a definition for hatred. Say; This is how we know what hatred is, taking the life of others. Love gives life, hatred takes life. True indeed, but not totally convincing. Surely we all have those we love but have never died for them, and there has to be some people out there that hate others but have never killed, right? Right. We explain further.
Whatever dwells in your heart, whether love or hatred, will eventually control your actions when it is crunch time. For instance, I might be hesitant if you ask me whether I would die for my mum (whom I love with all my heart), as she is more than twice my age and has fulfilled most of her dreams. Even she would discourage it. However if my mum and I were stuck on an island with lions on the loose, and a rescue car came for us with only enough room for one person, guess who’s getting in that car? My mum! No way in this world would I leave my mum to die in such circumstances while I live. For my love for her will always take pre-eminence. See, the heart above all always makes the decision in such times. For example, see the decision Esau made in Genesis 27:41 because of hatred: Esau hated Jacob: and Esau said in his heart; I will slay my brother Jacob.
Though a person filled with love may have not offered their life for anyone and someone who hates has not killed anyone, Jesus sees our inner man and knows that if circumstances arise anyone who loves will give life and anyone who hates WILL take a life. This heart, this inner man, is part of what Jesus sees and judges.
Dr Rebecca Brown once said that when one person hates another, Satan uses that hatred as a means to hurt the other person. He uses that person’s hate filled spirit, if they remain unrepentant, to perpetuate evil after evil possibly till the hated person is finally killed. I hear some people say it all the time: My head is very strong, it will always retaliate. But their heads aren’t strong, their hatred is, and it’s the devils tool.
You do not have to physically kill a person to be a murderer in God’s eyes. David never lifted a finger on Uriah but was judged as a murderer for aiding and abetting Uriah’s death.
How sad would it be on that day when a person not only misses heaven, but is counted amongst cold blooded murderers in hell, even without ever physically hurting a person! I urge you brethren to drop the burden of hatred and pick up the joy in love.
As you read this, the Lord might have lead your heart to the person/people you have a vehement dislike for, say this simple prayer:
My Lord Jesus, I thank you for freeing me from any kind of hatred today through Your word. I let go of any hurt _____ (say the person’s name) has caused me, and I ask You for love for them. I rebuke every hateful thought the devil may bring, now and forevermore in Jesus name.
Remember to immediately rebuke every hateful thought the devil may bring, if they ever resurface. Be assured that you have the victory in Christ Jesus.
Not born again? Visit the Salvation Page now and say the short prayer. Jesus loves you.
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