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Overcoming Hate

By J. Stephen Lang -- Turn on the daily news and you can't help but notice how hate-filled the world is. One nation against another, one ethnic group hating another, one political group spouting hateful half-truths about another. You could easily get the impression that some people actually enjoy hating someone else. The more aware we are of this, the more normal it seems. Whatever happened to our grandparents' advice: "Don't hate people -- hate their ways"?

The Bible has one basic word regarding hatred of people: don't.

Hatred stirs up quarrels, but love covers all offenses.

Proverbs 10:12

"You have heard that the law of Moses says, `Love your neighbor' and hate your enemies. But I say, love your enemy! Pray for those who persecute you! In that way, you will be acting as true children of your Father in heaven. For he gives his sunlight to both the evil and the good, and he sends rain on the just and on the unjust, too."

Matthew 5:43-44

Anyone who says, "I am in the light" but rejects another Christian is still in darkness. But anyone who loves other Christians is walking in the light and does not cause anyone to stumble. Those who reject other Christians are wandering in spiritual darkness and don't know where they are going, for the darkness has made them blind.

1 John 2:9-11

If someone says, "I love God," but hates another Christian, that person is a liar; for if we don't love people we can see, how can we love God, whom we have not seen? And God himself has commanded that we must love not only him but our Christian brothers and sisters, too.

1 John 4:20-21

The Book of God's Promises -- Copyright, 1999 by J. Stephen Lang. All rights reserved, used with permission.

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