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Archive for January 28th, 2022

Dealing With Hate

MEDITATION:

This meditation was written by Chris Witts, a contemporary author and Salvation Army minister. This is an excerpt from his work “Dealing With Hate.”

Have you ever been in a situation when you feel hatred towards another person? It’s a very personal question, I know, but today I’d like to have a look at this topic. It’s something that we don’t talk about but some people have—like Richard Nixon, one-time President of the United States, who once said, “Always remember others may hate you, but those who hate you don’t win unless you hate them. And then you destroy yourself”. Maybe he was talking from his own experience—I don’t know—but it’s true. If you hate others, you will eventually destroy yourself. Eleanor Roosevelt said, “Hate and force cannot be in just a part of the world without having an effect on the rest of it”. Archbishop Desmond Tutu said, “Goodness is stronger than evil; love is stronger than hate; light is stronger than darkness”. Abraham Lincoln said he used to destroy his enemies by loving them. What a great idea.

Hatred is a horrible strategy that can miserably backfire. It is well-known today that hatred can destroy us physically. Scientific studies have shown the damage hatred does. Anger causes your blood pressure and breathing rate to increase, which causes a strain on your heart making you more susceptible to heart attacks and stroke. It also can trigger headaches and lead to abusive behaviour. It can break down your immune system and cause you to be susceptible to various diseases. Not only that, hatred can destroy us emotionally. It wears you out and makes your judgment less effective, leading to bad decision-making. Often times the result of hatred is outbursts that can cause us to be embarrassed. This can lead to feelings of guilt and depression. Another side effect of always being angry and having intense hatred is not many people will enjoy being around you. You become less attractive to others, further isolating yourself. Of course, hatred also destroys us spiritually. We’re told throughout the Bible that the essence of God is love. And if we are harboring hatred in our hearts then we’re living contrary to God’s command to love one another. The result of that is a disconnect from God. So how do we get out of a cycle of hate? Jesus said it’s by doing good to those who hate you. One thing we all have control over is how we’re going to respond. And if you make the choice to respond to those who hate you, to those who are angry at you, by doing good to them, you’re going to diffuse a tense situation. For one, it will totally confuse the one who hates you because they’re expecting you to respond in anger. It will also diffuse some of the anger they have toward you. It’s really hard for someone to continue to hate you when you do them good. Kindness and love can change people. 

PRAYER:

Written by Anselm of Canterbury (1033-1109), a monk, philosopher, theologian, and Archbishop of Canterbury.

O merciful God, fill our hearts with the graces of your Holy Spirit,  with love, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance. Teach us to love those who hate us, to pray for those who spitefully use us, that we may be the children of you, our Father. You make your sun to shine on the evil and on the good and send rain on the just and on the unjust. In adversity grant us grace to be patient. In prosperity keep us humble. Help us guard the door of our lips, to give little regard for the pleasures of this world, and to thirst after heavenly things; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

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