Loving those we hate
1 Peter 3:8-9 (ESV)
“Finally, all of you, have unity of mind, sympathy, brotherly love, a tender heart, and a humble mind. Do not repay evil for evil or reviling for reviling, but on the contrary, bless, for to this you were called, that you may obtain a blessing.”
Often, we find ourselves in situations where we are slighted, insulted, or hated. In these situations, it is very easy to explode, hold a grudge, or try to get even. It is human nature for us to want someone who has done us harm have the same harm done to them. This is such a common thought process that it is a part of many world religions. Some people refer to this as karma.
However, this is not what the Bible teaches. The Bible teaches that if we are in Christ, we don’t get what we deserve. Romans 6:23 says, “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ.” People who do wrong can be forgiven. People who hate can be loved. People who are evil can be saved.
Because of this, men and women of God should never seek to get revenge on someone because we have been wronged. Instead, we should be Christ-like to them. Christ forgave us, so we should forgive them. Christ showed us mercy, so we should show mercy to others. Christ loved us when we hated Him, so we should love those who hate us.
Not only that, but this passage calls us to bless those who revile us and do evil against us. This is the unity of mind we should have. Our hearts should not be hard against people, but tender as Christ had. When He saw the masses, He wept not because He saw evil, but sheep without a shepherd. He had compassion upon the world. Likewise, we should have compassion on those who would seek to do us harm.
This week, if there is someone in your life that seeks to do evil to you, show them the love Christ has shown you. Have compassion upon the world and love those who hate you. If you would like to experience the compassion of Christ, accept Him as your savior, so that you too can receive the gift of love.