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Day 17 - Dealing with Hate

18 “If the world hates you, know that it has hated me before it hated you. 19 If you were of the world, the world would love you as its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you. 20 Remember the word that I said to you: ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted me, they will also persecute you. If they kept my word, they will also keep yours. 21 But all these things they will do to you on account of my name, because they do not know him who sent me. (John 15:18-21 ESV)

Have you ever had to deal with animosity in your life? Maybe you experienced hate and animosity from a spouse’s family or a spouse’s group of friends. Maybe you had to deal with hate from co-workers. Maybe the hatred was racially or economically motivated.

Regardless of where and how you experienced hatred in your life, the Bible gives us some perspective and some hope. The perspective Jesus offers his disciples is this: he was hated. He was hated and is hated simply because he is God. As followers of Jesus we are hated and should expect to be hated in this world because we are associated with God who is hated by the ruler of this world.

That doesn’t mean we should despair. In fact, if the reason for being hated is our association, then we know that we don’t belong to this world because our identity is not rooted in the hate but love from God. Nor does it mean we separate ourselves from those who hate us by drawing lines that shouldn’t be crossed. Rather, other people’s hatred toward us should motivate us to love those who hate us the same way Jesus loves those who hate him and how he efforted to love them where they are so that the hatred they had for him would turn to love from him.  

Pray today that those people who hate you will experience the love of God through you. Not so the hatred toward you would stop, but so that the love of God would manifest in their lives and give them a new future.

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