Tag Archives: Hate

The Heart of Mankind

I read this quote by Nelson Mandela posted on Facebook the other day:

“No one is born hating another person because of the color of his skin, or his background, or his religion. People must learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love, for love comes more naturally to the human heart than its opposite.”

At first glance this quote seems right and a wonderful sentiment. And it is partly true — people can be taught to love and the objects of hatred are often taught. But I’m not sure I agree with the idea that no one is born hating. If no human being was ever born hating then who taught mankind to hate? It had to start somewhere.

In Genesis we see Cain expressing hatred for his brother Abel — hatred so strong it led him to commit the first murder. If Cain was not born with that propensity to hate, then who taught him to hate his brother? Surely it wasn’t his parents, Adam and Eve. What did they know of hatred? Only what they had learned from eating the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil, but I doubt they would have taught that knowledge to Cain and suggest that it was the better course.

After several generations had passed after that first act of hatred by Cain, the Bible tells us, “The LORD saw how great man’s wickedness on the earth had become, and that every inclination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil all the time.” Genesis 6:5 (NIV). Nothing has changed since that time.

I believe that envy, jealousy, selfishness, and pride, which lead to hatred, are all more natural to the human heart than love. I know that when I once looked into my own heart, this is what I saw. Even now there are times when those feelings can so easily rear their ugly head. I doubt that I am so different from other people in this regard, and yet so many fail to see the defects in their own hearts but want to believe that love comes more naturally to them.

Not only can we be taught to love, we must be taught to love. “We love because he first loved us.” 1 John 4:19 (NIV). Apart from God, and the knowledge of His great love and mercy, the inclinations of the human heart continue to be towards evil. Love flourishes in the human heart and overcomes hatred and selfishness only where love is taught.

Thankfully, “God is love,” 1 John 4:8 (NIV), and He is willing to change the human heart that trusts in Him.

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Hate Is . . . – A Poem

I recently started reading a book by Max Lucado called “A Love Worth Giving: Living in the Overflow of God’s Love.” Lucado has always been one of my favorite Christian authors, and this books is proving to be one of his good ones and just what I was needing to read.

Each chapter is based on a different verse of the famous love chapter of the Bible – 1 Corinthians 13. For example, the first chapter talks about how “Love is patient” and the second chapter is about how “Love is kind.”

When we read in 1 Corinthians what love is, it is easy to say to ourselves “I do all those things. I’m patient, I’m kind.” Thinking in terms of what love is it is easy to conclude that we do, in fact, love our neighbors as ourselves. But as I thought about this yesterday, I thought of a poem that looks at the issue from the opposite perspective. Rather than looking at what love is, I’ve been pondering what the opposite of love – that is, hate – is and realizing how sometimes I don’t measure up to the ideal of 1 Corinthians 13 as much as I’d like to think I do.

2/7/12 Update: Linked to dVerse Poets Pub for Open Link Night #30. Go check out the other great poetry.

So here is my poem illustrating what the opposite of 1 Corinthians 13 looks like.

Hate Is . . .

Hate is impatient,
toe tapping, eye-rolling,
in a hurry for instant gratification

Hate is mean,
treating others unkindly,
bullying, and insulting

Hate is envious,
not happy for others’ prosperity,
wanting what others have,
and for them not to have it

Hate is boastful,
puffed up, pointing to self-accomplishments,
not recognizing contributions of others

Hate is not humble,
but is arrogant, filled with hubris
proudly thinking oneself better than all,
pretentious and vain, always vain

Hate is rude,
abusive and insulting, vulgar,
disrespectful, and never caring for others

Hate is self-seeking,
it’s-all-about-me attitude,
selfish and egotistical, self-important

Hate is easily angered,
irritated by the slightest mistake,
hot-headed, unwilling to forgive

Hate keeps a record of wrongs,
every little sin catalogued and indexed,
ready as part of its arsenal of hostility

Hate delights in evil,
revels in rebelling against authority,
is pleased to go its own way

Hate despises truth,
closes its ears to teaching,
refuses instruction and correction

Hate attacks,
harms loved ones and strangers alike,
injures all in its way without care

Hate distrusts,
lacks faith in God or anything,
doubts there is anything good

Hate despairs,
has no hope for a future,
lives in misery and sorrow

Hate gives up,
at the smallest obstacle it gives in,
is defeated by the tiniest tribulation

Hate never wins

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Learning to Forgive – A Poem

Many years ago the Lord taught me the importance of forgiving others. The command to forgive as we have been forgiven is not meant to be a burden, but rather a means of giving our burdens to God and lightening our spiritual load.

I never intended this blog to be a poetry blog, and I’m sure it will never exclusively be poetry, but I seem to be drawn to this medium lately. The other day this poem came to me about my own journey to forgiveness.

Learning to Forgive

I held it inside
The anger, the bitterness
I hated you
I blamed you for everything
For every tear and every dark cloud
Because of what you did
But you didn’t care
You didn’t even know
I only hurt me more

He let it all out
The anger, the wrath
It poured out with His blood
He loved me
He forgave me for everything
For every tear and every sin
In spite of what I did
But I didn’t care
I didn’t even know
I only hurt Him more

Then He showed me the way
To let go of the anger, the bitterness
To forgive as He has forgiven
To love as He loved me
I don’t hurt anymore

When they came to the place called the Skull, there they crucified him, along with the criminals—one on his right, the other on his left. Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.” And they divided up his clothes by casting lots. Luke 23:33-34 (NIV).

9/20/11 Update: I linked this poem at dVerse Poets Pub for the Open Link Night Week 10.

 

 

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