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Letting Go of Hate

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My wife and I were patiently standing shoulder to shoulder on the crowded upper level of the Eiffel Tower, waiting to take a picture of the exhilarating view as the sun slowly dipped into the horizon. I suddenly felt a slight tug at my pocket, and in a flash my wallet was gone—I had been pickpocketed!

What a heart-shattering end to what was going to be one of the most memorable experiences in our lives. How could this person violate me? The nerve and audacity of this thief!

For many months, whenever I encountered news items about robberies, my mind would return to my feelings of disgust, even of hate, for this anonymous person who sinned against me. It made me furious. He was a total stranger who lived thousands of miles away, and yet he had control over my emotions and my life. Something had to be done about these feelings.

The only way someone can overcome this situation is to rely on God’s word. “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” (Philippians 4:13). In Proverbs 6:30, God clearly says,“People do not despise a thief if he steals to satisfy himself when he is starving.” Was this why this person had stolen from me? Was he hungry or trying to support a desperate family? Even so, I could not escape the thought that even a beggar makes a more honest living than a thief.

So, why could I not let go of my feelings? The problem did not lie with the thief; he was nowhere around. Why, then, did I still harbor ill will against the person? I realized that I needed God’s help in a powerful way, to control my emotions and have peace of mind.  It was no longer about the thief; it was about me. Could I trust the feelings of hate in my heart? God explains in Jeremiah 17:9–10, “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked; who can know it?”

The key is the heart. Often the heart is deceitful and not only wicked, but desperately wicked. After reading and meditating on these scriptures, you will know, as I did, that something has to be done. A real change has to be made—by reading, searching, meditating and praying for more answers. The solution to your problem may not be easy, but God is merciful, and He will open your mind even more: “The Lord is merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in mercy” (Psalms 103:8).

There it is! The solution is to think the way God thinks. The natural human reaction is to be quick to anger and to show no lovingkindness. Yet God promises in Ezekiel 36:26–27, “I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; I will take the heart of stone out of your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will keep My judgments and do them.”

Such an attitude can only come from a change of heart, a change from a wicked and deceitful heart to a heart that is merciful, gracious and motivated by God’s Holy Spirit—one that thinks the way God thinks as shown to us in His statutes and judgments.

Meditating on these scriptures, a feeling of peace can come over you that you may not have felt in months. You can find the way—God’s way—of peace.

Has someone wronged you? Do you feel bitterness, anger or even hate towards another person? If you want to learn more about God’s way of thinking, order our fascinating booklets, The Real God: Proofs and Promises and What Is a True Christian?

  Originally Published: 29th April 2014