Admit it. Nobody likes to be hated. Hatred is not just an intense feeling of negative passion towards someone. To feel hate is to loath, detest, despise, abhor, dislike and avert someone or something.
Most Church folks have some degree of hatred towards at least one person. They just don’t know that they actually hate. You see, most people confuse hatred with a feeling, and since many do not feel an intense feeling of disdain towards someone, they think they do not hate.
But the classical and Biblical definition for hatred includes averting, avoiding, and turning away from a person.
We all dislike to be hated, not because we’re concerned with what a person feels, but because of the tension that is created when a person has decided to treat us as if we did not exist. Hatred is the attempt to create a different reality by intently projecting a status of non-existence upon a person against who we feel resentful.
Oftentimes, the “flower” of hatred is followed by the “stem” of resentment. Oftentimes, hatred is simply a negative reaction towards the feeling of not being affirmed in our self-image. When we do not feel appreciated or respected in the way we think we deserve, we feel rejected and treated as if we are of little, intrinsic value.
The enlightened will recognize that oftentimes the propositions of our enemies are more truthful than the flattery of friends.
The reason for this is because most friendly relationships mutually assuage our self-caricatures; in other words, what we want people to see and think about us. But oftentimes, the persona that we present before our friends are projections that are opposite to the truths that define us. When our “friends” affirm our projections, we “appreciate” them…but when a “friend” tells us a truth that we’ve been trying to gloss over, we react with panic and demote our “friend” to a lower status of “trust.” Once that occurs, the ego will seek to destroy the relationship by means of aversion. This means, that the relationship was ego-centric, rather than based on love. Love rejoices in the truth.
1Corinthians 13:7 (NIV) says, ”Love always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.”
The flower of hate stems from love which is rooted in admiration.
For example, Jane Doe admired her Deacon very much. What she knew about him made her to love and appreciate him. This admiration was based on the quantifiable fact that the Deacon is an exemplary disciple of Christ. His charisma and talents confirmed in her soul that the Deacon was a luminescent person with very special qualities. This in turn produces a feeling of love.
But what happens when the Deacon does or says something that does not conform to the projection of perfection that Jane imposed upon him?
Jane will first deny what has awakened her from her delusion. She will try arduously to regain her former perception, but the disappointment she feels will continue to grow.
Since the Deacon is no longer perceived as perfect, disappointment will mare the image that Jane used to project on him. This means, that the newly discovered imperfection, regardless of how small it is, has forever nullified and voided what she believed to be true in the Deacon. This means, that he no longer basks in the beauty of perfection in her perception…Which means, her love for him will drop in intensity while remaining mesmerized by his imperfection. His imperfection is all she can focus on.
The focus on the Deacon’s imperfection does not allow her to have a true assessment of the man’s value. Her obsession with his flaw leads her to begin to detest the Deacon. Detesting leads to averting (whether in person or emotionally), and avoidance is the external manifestation of hate.
How does one survive hatred?
First, we must find what defines us, and believe it.
Oftentimes we base our self-esteem on the perceptions and assertions of others. When a person knows the truth about him or herself, then no external perception or assertion could distort our self-knowledge. Many times, the assumptions we make about people are simply the projections of our own flaws and weaknesses. When our personhood is affirmed by inner truth, rather than the projection of our “friends,” then no amount of haters can dissuade us from our path and purpose.
Second, we must pray for our haters.
Jesus clearly teaches us to actively forgive our debtors as we pray. If we don’t “release” our haters through prayerful forgiveness, then we run the danger of becoming like our detractors, not only by feelings of hate, but also by having our prayers hindered.
Third, realize that your haters still admire you.
Our haters usually resent the fact that in spite of our flaws, we are still luminescent creatures that are worthy of admiration. Our haters still admire the traits that shine through us. The problem is that we remind them of the indifference that stagnates them, which in turn creates a void and allows for our light to shine. We outshine them…and because of that, they not only hate us, they admire us. Your greatest of haters are sometimes your greatest of admirers.
Yes, your haters still admire you… and you should revel in that.
Matthew 5:11 (NIV) “Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me.”