I think we have all struggled with hate at some point in our lives. Hate can be overlooked in the busyness of our daily lives or we can allow it to fester and control how we act and what we say in certain situations.

In my own life I had such rancor for a man that I blamed him for things that went wrong in my life. I even blamed him for different sins I committed. He had hurt many people that I loved. I was the fourth generation of my family that he had hurt. This man was my great-grandfather. He had lied and cheated on my great-grandmother (his wife), he was verbally abusive to his children (one being my grandmother), even after my grandmother removed him out of her sons lives he lied and deceived the family. I was hurt that he was never around. It only added to my hatred when I found out how awful he treated those I loved and were involved in my life. I allowed my hatred to fester for years, until one night. One night God got a hold of me. God told me that I was not made for hate; I was made for love. God reminded me that I could not love Him and hate my great-grandfather. At first, I told God that he had hurt me and my family. I told God that my great-grandfather was not what great-grandfather’s were supposed to be like. He had hurt me, he was supposed to love me. He was supposed to be there for my birthdays. God reminded me that Jesus forgave all my sins and that I should be able to forgive me great-grandfather for the few sins he had committed against me and my family.  I gave in that night and allowed forgiveness to wash over me. I released the years of resentment. It felt absolutely wonderful. 

The next day my father sat my siblings and I down. He told us that our great-grandfather had passed away in the night. I thought that I might be just a little happy because the man I hated was gone from my life. That would have been the wrong kind of happy. I was happy instead that God had encouraged me the day before to forgive. I was thankful that I was able to forgive him before he passed. He may not have ever known my hate or forgiveness while he was alive, but I hope he knows it now.

Maybe you are struggling with a built-up, festering hatred or maybe it is just a dislike either way pray about it. God doesn’t want us to live with hate.

But if you do not forgive people their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.” -Matthew 6:15

Challenge: Pray for God to open your heart to the hate in your life and ask Him to help you give forgiveness where it is needed.

Stay crazy and forgive, Hannah