Alright before I start I just want to point something out. I searched three separate websites for stock photos where I just typed in the word, “hate” and a number of images came up. Some better than the one above. However, thanks to Free Digital Photos I downloaded this one for free. I want to point out a few things:
- The title of this is called, “Young Boy Yelling.”
- As what I can assume is a professional job, this kid was paid to do this.
- In order to have this photo done someone said something along these lines, “Okay guys here is what I am seeing, a young boy, 7 to 10 years of age, his hands over his ears because he’s angry at someone and this kid is yelling his little lungs out. OH and in a polo shirt”, some assistant probably responded with, “What color shirt sir/ma’am, blue? You know because he’s probably blue about the situation?” Then came the sullen response, “No, red. Because he is angry.”
Honestly the search for the photo put me in a bit of a better mood. I wish I could show you all that came up that I couldn’t afford but search, “free stock photos” click a few sites and type in hate. It’s amazing.
So I work in a fairly stressful job. Now I say fairly stressful in that when I was a pastor I thought that was amazing stress wise, honestly the only times I really ever worried or felt stressed was when I was in fear of losing my job which I was in the right because that happened twice. Stories for a different time. Now to preface this I served in the military for a number of years right after high school which helped me figure out the balance of stress/work life. Today I work in logistics and I help get things delivered on time. I mean, I help things that should be delivered on time.
Now, one of my favorite verses of all time is Matthew 5: 21,22,
“You have heard that it was said to the people long ago, ‘You shall not murder, and anyone who murders will be subject to judgment.’ But I tell you that anyone who is angry with a brother or sister will be subject to judgment. Again, anyone who says to a brother or sister, ‘Raca,’ is answerable to the court. And anyone who says, ‘You fool!’ will be in danger of the fire of hell.“
So, today I may have committed murder in my heart, and like most of you that have driven through Chicago, or those that have paid for a movie in the theaters and people are talking on their phone, you’re okay with that. Like Emperor Palpatine from, “Star Wars” says, let the hate flow through you. In those moments you are probably hoping for the Divine to strike these people down where they are, or if you’re a Cubs fan, just channel the past 100 years.
Hell, there is even the verse from Psalm 139:22,
“I have nothing but hatred for them; I count them my enemies.”
Oh snap! Looks like my feelings are validated, I mean its in the Bible, the Psalms none the less! It’s like when you’re Pro-Life and you want to vote for war because God is clearly pro-war in the Old Testament. Crazy how when we want things to be okay we search the OT to validate these feelings when we could normally not care less.
The truth is, there are times of course where everyone feels fleeting moments of hatred towards someone and the truth is, we are offended by what they have done. What I love about that verse from Matthew is that its a nice reminder of who we should be, what we strive to be, and the truth is its something attainable. What I love about that verse from the Psalms is that it is such a SMALL part of what that entire chapter is about. The author is struggling with these feelings, I mean read Laminations this is normal throughout the writers. We were created to be able to feel these things, but the truth is there are few that can control it. Today I just wanted to walk out of my job because of two individuals but I didn’t.
I once heard someone say that the temptations we receive on a daily basis (lust, greed, ect.) aren’t bad, it’s our reaction to them that can be good or bad. Today I was really tempted to hate the people I was talking to, and there were fleeting moments that I probably did which is why I put the * next to hate in the title. Everyday we feel this probably and the truth is that’s okay so long as we do not give in and become that. For a number of years I gave in, and the truth is that leads to nothing but death.
I will drink my beer, the earth will continue to spin, I will wake up and drink coffee only to go to work tomorrow to speak with these same people. I hope that I can know that these moments of frustration that feel like hatred can be redirected to realize that those people are children of the Divine God and no matter how frustrating they are, I can be like the author of Psalm 139, and work though it then be like Jesus to know that they are my brothers and sisters.
(This post originally appeared on my previous blog, pintwiththepastor.wordpress.com on 5/31/2016)