One of the most destructive attitudes a believer can display is hate. Think about it: How well can the light of Christ shine through a life that’s shrouded in anger, bitterness, and malice? Such a demeanor doesn’t reflect a positive image of Jesus to non-Christians. But the problem affects more than our witness to the unbelieving world. Even in churches, it’s not difficult to find individuals brimming over with hostility. Where does this attitude come from?
One reason some believers struggle with hatred is an inability to forgive a hurt. Is that you?
Think about someone who wronged you in the past, and ask yourself three questions:
1. If you hate someone, you cannot shake the memory. Does the scene play out in your mind over and over?
2. If you hate someone, you cannot wish him or her well. Do you want the best for a person who has hurt you?
3. If you hate someone, you want that person to hurt, too. Do you secretly desire for this individual to experience the pain that you suffered?
Have these questions revealed any hidden animosity in your heart? If so, don’t leave this page without prayerfully meditating on Ephesians 4:31-32. Read the passage aloud. Then personalize it into a prayer, and let the Holy Spirit move you to forgive an old hurt.
Bible in One Year: Ezra 1-4