We are living in a time of deep spiritual hatred. The very phrase, “spiritual hatred” is oil and water. How can bitter and sweet water pour from the same fountain? Not since the days when the footprints of Jesus could be traced upon the earth has there been a religious outcry with such depth of bitterness and hatred. If the sun loses its warmth and glimmer and the salt its flavor, who will offer hope to a wondering and wayward world?
It seems that no matter which way you turn there are children of God who have traded their blessing for a curse. Words of judgment and ridicule fall from our lips like poison from a viper’s fangs for both the just and the unjust. Our worst words are reserved for fellow brothers and sisters in Christ, or, even more sadly, for those we have never even met. We pass along slander, innuendo, and half-truths in unison with scripture quotes and words of hope. How confusing must this be to the lost who hear our words? Surely they must believe our God to be the same? This is the true meaning of “Do not take the name of the Lord in vain.” To take His precious name and speak forth venom upon any man is to bear His name with absolutely no understanding of the blessing, love, and forgiveness He sacrificed Himself to give us.
There is something to be said for polite poise, and restraint. Most of our grandparents taught us to say nothing if we could not speak good words of encouragement. Undoubtedly there is great power in blessing, and “if not blessing,” in the basic self-discipline of silence. For it would seem that few are willing to travel this high and honored road today. The road of hatred however, is deeply rutted with judgment and self-righteousness. Multitudes travel this road – lost and saved alike. It is heartbreaking to realize how desolate this road would become if God’s children refused to travel its painful path ever again.
The children of God are called to be the light of the world. Our hearts were made to beat with a blood of tremendous sacrifice. Our hands were meant to help our neighbor. Our feet were meant to stand high upon the bridge of forgiveness, and our lips were created to bless “all” of God’s creation. We are not called to be vessels of hatred, slander, and cruelty. We were purchased by the blood of Jesus to become vessels of our Papa’s deep and abiding love.
Many are deceived into speaking forth words of cursing over others by our disclaimer that we are simply speaking the truth. Our Lord spoke the truth and yet, never walked the muddy ruts of Lucifer’s slanderous gutter. In regard to “speaking the truth” the question must be asked, “Do you want to be right, or do you want to be instrumental in the solution?” The adulterous woman was thrown at the feet of Jesus to receive His judgment. The TRUTH was that the men who brought her to Jesus were as sinful as she was. The TRUTH was that this woman was a common whore who deserved to die by the letter of the Law. The TRUTH was that Jesus knew all of these truths and then some. Jesus declared none of these things. In love and mercy He set the woman free without speaking one slanderous or judgmental word against any person. This is the example we have, and yet…it is the example of the sinful and self-righteous men who brought this woman to Jesus that we most often choose to follow. WE think we know the truth about hearts we cannot see and WE intend to declare it. WE believe that we know things about people we have never even met and WE intend to declare it. WE…WE…well, you get the picture.
When will we learn that we can disagree with someone, or something and do so with the same depth of love and wisdom that Jesus taught us by His powerful example? When will we remove ourselves from Lucifer’s deeply rutted road of hatred and vocal venom? When? If not today, then when?
Let it be today. Today is a great day to bless the man you cursed yesterday. Today is a great day to love the unlovable without a single condition that they love you back. And today is most certainly the best opportunity you will ever have to forgive those in your life and in this world who deserve it the least. After all…that’s exactly what Jesus did for you.