"You nourished hostility in your hearts because of your evil deeds." —Colossians 1:21
Very few people admit they have hatred in their hearts. Even fewer admit they actually nourish hatred. Hatred is widespread, even epidemic, yet we refuse to admit our hatred. We like to think of ourselves as "good" people, but actually we are wicked (Is 53:6; 64:5). It's natural for us to hate. Only in Jesus can the barrier of hostility be broken down (Eph 2:14). It's natural for us to be unforgiving and resentful. "To err is human, to forgive divine," and we're not divine. We can never love one another by "human good will," but only in Christ and by His power.
Let's admit we can't save ourselves, and that we desperately need the Savior. "We went our way in malice and envy, hateful ourselves and hating one another. But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, He saved us; not because of any righteous deeds we had done, but because of His mercy" (Ti 3:3-5).
Jesus said: "You have heard the commandment, 'You shall love your countryman but hate your enemy.' My command to you is: love your enemies" (Mt 5:43-44). We are called to replace hate with love, even for our enemies. In Christ, hatred has nothing to feed on, so it dies of malnutrition.
Prayer: Jesus, without You I would be vicious and hateful. Thank You for saving me.
Promise: "The Son of Man is Lord even of the sabbath." —Lk 6:5
Praise: Patricia fought feelings of resentment and bitterness toward another until God gave her His own heart for that person.
Reference: (For a related teaching, order our tape on Jesus and Peace on audio AV 42-1 or video V-42.)
Rescript: †Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, February 11, 2009
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