If someone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen, how can he love God whom he has not seen? 1 John 4:20
This is a hard one to talk about, but I know it is necessary.
I have hated people. I have HATED them with absolute rage, anger, and disgust. There are many different reasons why I have hated them, and none of them were just. Though, I just could not let it go.
My Bible study group and I started reading Bob Goff’s “Love Does”, and it changed the way I thought of myself and others forever. It knocked loudly on the door of my hatred and I was surprised when I allowed it in. LOVE asked me to reach out to someone who I had HATED and ask for their forgiveness.
& I balked. I did not want to forgive. I did not want to interact with them. I did not want this.
Though, I soon realized love is stronger than hate when I found myself reaching out to that person. & to my complete surprise, they not only forgave me for hating them, but also asked for forgiveness for what they had done as well. It’s been a few months since this interaction, but believe it or not, I will be on my way soon to go visit her after swearing her off forever a while go. All because my heart gave into love instead of hate.
So, I did it again. With another person whom I had absolutely hated (and had made it known that I did). I did not expect the same luck I had before, and was assuming they’d blow me off or tell me where to go and how to get there…but again, the opposite happened. Forgiveness, sorry, healing.
I did this same thing, five more times with other people I did not have a very good ending with. & the reaction has been the same EVERY SINGLE TIME. I am floored and thankful, because I never would have guessed that this would have happened. BUT it did.
I am not saying that this is going to happen for everyone, all the time. Sometimes people just are not ready. Their hearts are broken, they are angry, they are sad, etc. But I think so often, people are ready to hear from us but we are afraid of what their reaction will be (I know I sure was) so we just stay quiet.
Even though I have seen these amazing results, I still struggle with this. I am sure I always will. But God is love and if He lives in our hearts, love will ALWAYS win over has.
Love has set us free.