Wednesday, November 19, 2008

The Challenge To Love


Today I was challenged in a way I have never been before and quite frankly, it stinks. I was told flat out by an individual, "I hate you". And to be honest, that is the first time that's happened and I hope it's the last. I could 'feel' the extreme degree to which it was meant as I read those three words and in my mind, I pictured the person as they were saying those incredibly hurtful words.

To me, a heart full of hate is the death of a heart. A heart full of hate can have no room for love, joy, peace or hope; four things that contribute to a truly abundant life. I am extremely saddened by this and for this person because the hate is like a cancer that has affected everyone in this persons life. Hate is the epitome of evil and when I think of what it does to one's heart and how it seeps out and destroys people, their lives and and those around them it's a sad realization that this world is full of this horrible thing - and it hit very close to home today.

I know from experience that it is easier to hate, be bitter and store up unforgiveness than it is to forgive and to love. And to be honest, in my extreme humanness, there was a part of me today that wanted to curse this person out of hurt. But I don't want to be like that again. I've dealt with some very harsh realities where unforgiveness and bitterness are concerned and learning to deal with it and give it to God is one of the best things I've ever done. For me, for my husband, for my children and all of those around me. I'm not 100% totally out of the woods so-to-speak, and I daily lay those things before God, but I recognize when I'm under attack and today was one of those times. I have come a long way and I'm not going back.

I know that the Bible says in Proverbs 10:12 - Hatred stirs up dissension, but love covers over all wrongs. To me, living in love sounds so much better than living in hatred and I want all of the love I can get. I want to be greedy when it comes to love and I think God is OK with that because He's willing to give as much as we'll take. I pray that this person who is hurting will allow themselves to start being filled with love and learn to let go of the hate. I don't know if we'll ever make peace, I can only hope and pray. I do know that God is huge and bigger than this and no matter what he loves us both and I find an amazing amount of peace in that.

16 comments:

Anonymous said...

PEACE WILL COME WHEN YOU GROW UP AND MOVE ON YOURSELF. MAYBE SEE WHERE EXACTLY THE SOURCE IS TRULY COMMING FROM. MAYBE WHEN YOU REALIZE YOU ARE THE CAUSE OF THE "HATE" AND "RESENTMENT"AND YOUR SLANDEROUS BITTER WORDS AND THE DAYS OF YOUR HATEFUL, HYPOCRITICAL WAYS SUBSIDE, YOU MAY FINALLY BE HAPPY...AFTER ALL, WHO IS IT WHO HAS THE ON-GOING PUBLIC DIARY OF SARCASTIC VIEWS OF OTHERS IN THE WORLD?? YOU KNOW, VAMPIRES ARE COLD, BITTER AND HAVE NO REFLECTION...THEY CANNOT SEE THEMSELVES OR WHO THEY REALLY ARE. TALK ABOUT SADNESS...

Anonymous said...

hmmm, yikes, must be more to this sad story.

Anonymous said...

I somewhat agree with the first comment here. There seems to be tons more to this story. For someone to just throw those words out, they usually have to have been provoked. And it sounds like it hurt you pretty badly, so I am assuming you deeply love and care for this individual. It is sad to feel hate, but in all my years I find it is even more saddening to push someone into hating you. Things like this, as hurtful as they may be, happen because they have been forced. If this person is a horrible as you've made them sound, it wouldn't hurt you so badly. Maybe you need to lay the ground work and patch things up. Apologies go a long way when genuine. It isn't Godlike to accuse and assume. And it isn't Godlike to judge those people having a hard time of it. It surely isn't Godlike to boast of all the things you claim to be and all that you think others are or aren't. So very sad for you and the person who lashed out. Hope you are able to fix this. Would be nice to have the entire story, if you want help, we're here. Remember folks, there are always to sides to the story.

Sherri said...

Annie K,
I WILL LEAVE MY NAME!

I don't care WHAT the reason is, OR WHOSE fault it is, HATRED IS NEVER THE RIGHT RESPONSE.

God uses people in our life everyday, those who love us and those who don't, that draw us closer to Him and to His desires.
I pray that what was meant to destroy you here, will be turned around and ultimately used to make you even stronger- In Him.

I read from your post, how you were affected by the words of others, and I am sure, LIKE ME, have also at some point spoken harmful words...WE ALL DO!

ARE there 2 sides to every story? Always.But we all can only communicate from on own perspective, the way we see it, experience it from our view.

Anonymous,
WORDS ARE EXTREMELY powerful. We can bless or curse. Speak life or death to souls that GOD HAS CREATED. Please consider what you have done here.

I had created my post for today, inspired by a video I had seen on the power of our words. BEFORE I had seen your sad comments.

I woke up at 3:30 this morning. Could not sleep. Decided to check my usual circle of blogs and came across this one. It truly saddened me. I think you have no idea what exactly you have done here and just how serious God takes the cursing of his Creation. My heart is heavy.

Anonymous,
No, I don't know the whole story, but I do know that there is NEVER an appropriate time to HATE.
You may feel that Annie has kept a public diary-- but I had no idea who she was referring to or speaking about. I did not sense HATRED.
If you felt the need to "clear the air", don't come on her space to do it.
THIS is not the place.
This was done for one reason, NOT to give your version, but to humilate her. NEVER OKAY.

The written word is also very powerful. Ours and HIS. I pray today that would take your pain and Hatred, find out what God's word says about our response when we feel we have been wronged.

I have also had horrible resentment toward someone who I felt had wronged me--it was eating me alive! Not worth the energy wasted on such a powerful emotion that does nothing but destroy.
God says, "LIFE OR DEATH IS IN THE POWER OF THE TONGUE".

CHOOSE LIFE!
My prayers are with both of you this morning.

Annie K said...

Sherri,

Thank you so much for those encouraging words. It's amazing how others only want to hear all of the dirt - 'give me the 2nd side!' but it's not about that. Who cares what happened, the point is that two people became filled with hate, bitterness and unforgiveness and this is the result.

I've been at lot of places in my life that I'm not proud of. I have had some extremely low points in my journey and have wished a million times that I could change things I've said or done. I'm extremely human that way. But in all of it, I realized that hate, bitterness, guilt and unforgiveness was destroying not just my life but my families lives and others around me. It's been a long road to learning to let go and forgive and seek forgiveness. Unfortunately, when someone is so filled with all of those things, it blinds them to any grace someone is seeking from them.

To Anonymous at 1:07am - I am not judging or boasting. It has been a tough thing for me to get to the point of being confronted and not harboring hate in my heart. I'm extremely saddened that it has come to this. It's every persons decision to hate or not to hate - I don't 'make' anyone do anything. I have chosen not to hate anymore and it has made a difference in my life.

To Anonymous at 10:19 - I haven't ever said anything in my blog that wasn't true, and yes I do use sarcasm and humor. But it's better than speaking bitterness and hate. I do have peace and I hope you find it as well.

Helen said...

Anonymous, Anonymous, and Anonymous,
I am not going to address your separate entries. It is so obvious that you are the same person repeating yourself over and over to hurt Annie, that it is really sad that you cannnot see how obvious you are. And the all caps shouting thing at the beginning does NOT make you look good (see, I did it on one word, for emphasis to get your attention. See how subtle that was. Do you need someone to define subtle for you?) You are obviously the same person who hurt Annie to begin with, and while I may have tried to encourage her to see where your pain came from to help you to heal, for you to are a child of God, now all I can see from your several bitter comments is that she would be wasting her time trying to reason with the unreasonable. I will pray for you because God commands it, not because I see your point. Your own bitter words have blinded me to the possibility that you could even have one!


Annie,
Whew! I trust that if you didn't pull a comment deleted on Anonymoui, you will show patience with my tangent.
When I first read your post, I was reminded of something that happened to me. I'm gonna share it.

I worked with a woman who talked trash about me. A lot. To my coworkers. To my boss. To me. I harbored no love for her in my heart. She sprained her ankle on the way to work one day in the winter while taking the bus. We have had some bad winters in Chicago, and this was one of them. I felt the Lord call me to drive her home (and pick her up the next day, and so on, until she'd be healed). I said "No! Let someone she talks to about me help her. I won't". And I meant it. I was hurt, and angry, and felt justified in this hurt and anger. God would not let me off the hook all day. I argued with the Lord from eight in the morning, until it was almost time to go home. Finally he laid on my heart the verse that says to be kind and do good to those who hurt you, and it will be to them like having hot burning coals poured upon their forehead. I said to the Lord "Hot burning coals I can do!" and I ran to this person's desk and asked how she were getting home. Her answer was the CTA. I insisted that she allow me to take her home. She was obviously embarassed and said she couldn't accept. I told her that "Jesus has demanded of me that I take you home and pick you up until you are well. Neither of us can refuse him!" Now if you knew me in real life, you'd know that I don't go boldly speaking for God, like, ever, but I knew he meant business when he offered me hot burning coals over her head as my reward. Well, I did as he commanded, and for a few years there she and I were actually friends. Then something else happened, but I held on to the lesson I learned and instead of harboring a grudge, I just let her go as she saw fit. If she wants to pick up again, I am here. And I don't need hot burning coals anymore. Anyway, I think my point is to be nice to this person no matter how much it hurts you, because remember, it hurts her more.
I hope I helped instead of making things worse. I wish only good things for you because you are my friend. I wish good things for Anonymous because Jesus is telling me I have to....

Bo said...

Anne - I wrote about a million comments on this one and deleted them all so as not to dangerously tip the sarcasm scale. My only regret in using restraint is that there were some very clever references to vampires in there and now I'll have to find ways to use them in conversation instead. :)

I'll leave it at this: I hope your day is filled with great stuff and that God Himself meets you with the gift of joy in spite of circumstances. I love Psalm 119:165...great peace.

Much love to you, friend!
Bo

Mare said...

Wow.

So sorry you had to receive all of that. I haven't ever received the exact words, but I have received the look that spoke just as loudly and the actions that do the same. It's so painful.

You are so right that it is easier to hate than to love. Love is so dangerous, so risky. Hate and bitterness are comfortable and easy.

Props to you for choosing love and seeing that dangerous is far better than comfortable.

katdish said...

My inclination here is to defend Annie and lash out at the snarky anonymous comments. But since I would no doubt be adding insult to injury to SOMEONE, I'll be uncharacteristically brief and succienct:

A) Hurt people hurt people.

B) Mean people suck.

Anonymous said...

Ha. Indeed they do KATDISH, Indeed...they do.

Sherri said...

"JESUS LOVES ME
THIS, I KNOW
FOR THE BIBLE TELLS ME SO
LITTLE ONES TO HIM BELONG
THEY ARE WEAK
BUT HE IS STRONG

YES, JESUS LOVES ME!
YES, JESUS LOVES ME!
YES, JESUS LOVES ME,

THE BIBLE TELLS ME SO.!"


This is me singing. Isn't it a beautiful song?

Helen said...

Sherri,
You are right Sherri, it is a beautiful song. It is one of my favorites's. Especially the verse..

Jesus take this heart of mine
make it pure and wholly thine
thou hast bled and died for me
I will henceforth live for thee!


The last verse is also compelling...

Jesus loves me He who died
Heaven's gates to open wide
He has washed away my sin
To let His little child come in.


This may seem like a children's song, but Jesus did say that we must become like little children to enter heaven.

Anonymous Quadrupled,
Little children forgive more readily than I do. It is clear from Annie's post that she forgives you. For her sake I too forgive you for every mean word you said, not by my own power, but through God's. Because He wants me, too. And I think Annie does, too.

All My Blogger Gal Pals,
What do you say? Shall we all get together and pour those coals over Anonymous by forgiving her? Me first. Ah, that felt good!

Sherri said...

I've never heard the other verses. I just love that song.

Sometimes at our church the Adult congregation sings it accapella. It is beautiful.

For some reason, I can never get through the chorus without crying. On paper it doesn't seem so touching, but when you a hundreds of adults (men and woman) singing it, it just moves me.

BOHICA said...

hurt people hurt people and mean people suck...amen!!!

but... there are two sides to every story (Joshua 22: 1-34) Some things to consider while reading the blog-opinions posted.

Proverbs 25:17
Withdraw thy foot from thy neighbour's house; lest he be weary of thee, and so hate thee.

Websters definition of hate 1 a: intense hostility and aversion usually deriving from fear, anger, or sense of injury

Hypocrisy : a feigning to be what one is not or to believe what one does not ; especially : the false assumption of an appearance of virtue or religion

The "let he who is without sin, cast the first stone" incident is one of the most well-known lessons of the Bible. A woman, who had been caught in the act of adultery was brought to Jesus Christ by the scribes and Pharisees as a test to see if the Messiah was a liberal in matters of the Law of God. In response to their deceitful query, He didn't condemn the woman, not because He was a liberal, not because He condoned her sin, but because the men who brought the woman to Him were Hypocrites. He was the only person there that day who was free of sin, the only one who had the right to "cast the first stone." He didn't stone her (or her accusers), but instead forgave her and told her to "sin no more." Otherwise, the day is coming when she, if she didn't thereafter repent, won't be stoned, but will be burned - along with the hypocrites who brought her to Him that day, if they didn't thereafter repent of their sin:

Matthew 23:23-24 Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin, and have omitted the weightier matters of the law, judgment, mercy, and faith: these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone. Ye blind guides, which strain at a gnat, and swallow a camel.

the point is... when you cause hate through your actions isn't it up to you to own your sin and seek forgiviness rather than mask your actions in hypocrisy? WWJD

katdish said...

BOHICA -

With all due respect, unless you are the other party, how can you know that Annie "caused hate through her actions"? Perhaps the friction was caused by a genuine misunderstanding or misintrepretation of what actually happened. I have re-read the entire post. There is but one sentence in this post that talks about the person directly: "I am extremely saddened by this and for this person because the hate is like a cancer that has affected everyone in this persons life." Everything else in this post addresses her own personal struggles or the damage hate can do in general.

"He didn't condemn the woman, not because He was a liberal, not because He condoned her sin, but because the men who brought the woman to Him were Hypocrites."

Do you honestly believe the Jesus forgave this woman to "show up" the Pharisees and not because He had genuine compassion for the sinner, not the sin? Yes, Jesus is making an incredible object lesson out of this particular set of circumstances, but when you cut to the chase, love was the motivation, not contempt.

It's much easier to forgive someone who shows remorse or admits they are wrong. Much more difficult to forgive someone who you feel has misrepresented the situation and made you out to be the bad guy. I have not made any assumptions about what caused this discourse. But if my Lord and Savoir, in his last dying moments on Calvary can speak directly to God and say, "Forgive them Father, for they know not what they do." Who am I not to forgive?

Forgiving someone doesn't mean that you're okay with what they've done or what they continue to do. When you forgive, you release the burden on your own heart.

For me, if given the choice, I would rather have peace than be right. Being wrong is not that bad. I'm wrong quite a bit, and I've come to accept that. If my being wrong has hurt someone else, I make a sincere effort to make amends, but I'm sure I've hurt people unknowingly. I think we all have. When I really screw up, I am comforted by my favorite verse: (Jesus said) "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakess." And I remember that those words of encouragement were meant for everyone who is a follower of Christ, not just me.

Whoever this person is, my guess is that they are hurting just as Annie is hurting. My heart goes out to them both as do my prayers.

And just in case this person happens to be reading this post, I would like to shamelessly link one of my blog posts entitled The Teddy Bear..

Alas, my attempts at brevity have failed me again...

helen said...

Katdish,
Well said, girl. Well said.