By Sister Felicia Hence
I’m sure this seems like an odd title for a church magazine but given Bishop Clarke’s series on relationships I thought that this might be a relevant topic. You see, not everyone that you are in a “relationship” with is your friend. So let’s talk about the haters in our life.
Haters have been around for years!! Just look at Jesus! He had plenty of them. If someone could hate Jesus surely they could hate us! The good news is the Bible gives us clear instructions on how to handle them. Here are a few tips for dealing with our haters:
“Everyone will hate you because of me. But not a hair of your head will perish. Stand firm, and you will win life.” (Luke 21:17-19 NIV)
When you learn that someone has made negative comments about you or tried to destroy your good character and image don’t respond. Unfortunately, most people may experience this horrible act of hatred or jealousy at some point in their lives. It could be from so-called friends, colleagues, etc. that you never thought would want to see any harm come your way but Jesus tells us in Luke 21:19 to stand firm now, to win later.
...not everyone that you are in a “relationship” with is your friend...
“Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn.” (Romans 12:15 NIV)
I have learned that many times people hate on us because they are unhappy with their lives. It is important to understand that they may be experiencing a difficult time. That is when we need to pray and ask God to heal them for whatever it is that they are going though. When you see the situation this way it makes so much sense and becomes much easier to handle. So you see, they don’t really hate you; in many cases they are unhappy with their lives. You just happen to be the chosen victim of their unhappiness at that moment. You may be living the life they desire. We may never truly know their reason for anger and resentment, but we do know that Christ encourages us to be kind and gracious to them.
“But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.” (Matthew 5:44 ESV)
This one is probably the hardest of them all! As humans we don’t easily want to love our enemies but this is when our Christ-like abilities must come in to play. Holding anger and bitterness within will negatively affect us and hinder our growth and the blessings that God has for us. So we must release the anger and pray for our haters. This is not easy to do at first but once we master this it gets easier and it sure feels better than the alternative.