There’s been several times in my life when I’ve encountered people I just did not like. I mean, I really did not like them! I’d just as soon rip them a new one as to look at them. I guess, if you can hardly stand the sight of a person, (without imagining them covered in boils, or envisioning them with short, tiny arms, rendering them unable to scratch the area in which they are infested with crabs) that could be considered hate. I’ve always fancied myself a person who didn’t hate anyone, but now that I think about it, I’m not so sure! Hold on. I’m going to look up the definition of hate.
I’m back. Ok, here’s the definition. *Hate: feel intense or passionate dislike for (someone). “the boys hate each other.” Synonyms: loathe, detest, despise, dislike, abhor, be repelled by, unable to bear/stand, find intolerable, recoil from… Yep, I guess it’s fair to say that I’ve hated people. I can’t stand admitting that, because I genuinely love (most) people! At least I’d like to think I do! What I’ve figured out is, as much as I want to love everyone; I simply can’t do it on my own! I don’t believe it’s humanly possible! So, now I admit to you that, as much as I fancy myself a people person, there have been people I’ve hated. The funny thing is, God never lets me feel that way for very long.
I remember one time I was at a small group get together, when I looked up and saw someone I couldn’t stand walk through the door. Keep in mind, this person had never been to any of our other meetings! My immediate, fleshly response was to recoil, but God had another, better idea. Some of you may think I’m crazy when I say this, but I don’t care! This really happened.
Like I said, upon seeing this person, my immediate response was to recoil, but I sat still. I had to. I couldn’t move. I watched people greeting him, still reeling with disgust. Then the strangest thing happened. It’s as if God allowed me to see, for just a brief moment, right into his soul. In an instant, God allowed me to see this person so very differently! Suddenly, my heart was broken for someone I once could not stand the sight of, and I was choking back tears. I’ve liked him ever since.
Another time I ran into someone at Walmart. Typically I would avoid this person like the plague! I couldn’t stand to hear her voice, let alone speak to her; but yet again, God would step in and do what He does best…..change someone’s heart!
You see, this time, I couldn’t avoid her! I’d ran right into her! Face to face, looking her right in the eyes. I had no choice but to engage the situation, and once again, I was rendered unable to move. And once again, in an instant, God gave me a glimpse of someone’s soul. I choked back tears as I spoke with her, and suddenly, I didn’t look at her with disgust. God had allowed me to see the goodness in her! I’ve liked her ever since as well.
You see, whenever I’d look at a person and think “God, You really need to change them!“,often times I’d been the one who ended up being changed! Not every time mind you! There are people out there who need to change, and who require boundaries. Even so, hate is never an option! Plus, most of the time, it’s all about perspective! Because here’s the thing, we can only see people with limited, human sight, and we can only love people with limited, human love, unless we have the Holy Spirit living inside us! It’s only through Christ that we’re able to truly love. God can, does and will change our perspective! And if you’re anything like me; it’s something He has to do quite often!
If there’s someone in your life you just can’t stand, ask God to help you see them through His eyes. It’s a prayer I pray often, mostly just in general, not for anyone in particular, and boy has He ever answer that prayer! God’s allowed me to catch a glimpse of a person’s heart several times. Always at just the right times, and just when I needed it the most! It’s crazy and it’s amazing all at the same time!
Don’t walk around hatin’ on folks! Hatin’ only hurts the hater! I know I say this a lot, but ask God to help you see people the way He sees them. Trust me! He’ll do it! And if you’re reading this blog and wonder if you could be one of the people I’ve hated, wonder no more! I’ll be posting names and pictures in Monday’s blog! That way people can see just how powerful our God is!!! I’m joking! I’m sure it was none of you! 🙂
If anyone boasts, “I love God,” and goes right on hating his brother or sister, thinking nothing of it, he is a liar. If he won’t love the person he can see, how can he love the God he can’t see? The command we have from Christ is blunt: Loving God includes loving people. You’ve got to love both.