Ray McDonald's Blog

Thoughts and Reflections

Let No Hate Enter Our Hearts

2 Timothy 4:2

Preach the word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage – with great patience and careful instruction.

Ray 2019Paul – an Apostle – told a young pastor – Timothy – to preach the word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage – with great patience and careful instruction. (2 Timothy 4:2) Paul also wrote these words to Timothy – 2 Timothy 3:16–17 – 16 All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, 17 so that the servant of God  may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.

Paul urges Timothy – and us – to adhere to God’s Word at all times. All parts of God’s Word should be adhered too. Even the parts that we don’t agree with – maybe even more so those parts. It is easy to follow what we agree with – but hard when we don’t.

I’m not a young pastor nor am I an Apostle – but the Word of God – as I read it – tells me to love one another – to not hate anyone. I see far too much hatred in the world – and at times – sadly – from folks claiming to be Christians. Just check out the anger expressed in the 2020 election season or the 2020 General Conference in May.

We’re told to hate sin – we’re told to love others. We’re told to love God more than anything or anyone. Matthew 10:37 – Anyone who loves their father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; anyone who loves their son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me.

We’re called by Jesus to love God with all that we have and all that we are. Mark 12:30 – Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.

We’re told that people will know us by our love. Hatred is not part of what a Christian should express to or about anyone – at Christmas or any time. We should rebuke evil – hatred – wherever we find it – in love.

We’re told by Jesus to love even our enemies. Matthew 5:43-44 – 43 You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy. 44 But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you. This is not an easy word to hear. Loving those who love us is easy or easier – but loving those who are our enemies – even those who persecute us – is tough. Yet that is how much we should rebuke hatred – to love even our enemies. That might mean those on the other side of a political season or a denominational split.

John tells us that those who hate will hide – and not come out into the light (where the hatred in their hearts can be seen). John 3:20 – Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that their deeds will be exposed.

I believe we are called to speak out – in love – when others – especially Christian brothers or sisters (or those who claim to be) – speak hatred or evil about others. This includes using words that are not positive and gossip. This includes demeaning words and I believe words that lump a people in a group – like all blonds are __________. We are all individuals – it matters not our skin color – our nation of origin – our economic status – our political party – or even our religious beliefs.

It is not enough to not hate. We are called – IMHO – to speak up when others are belittled or demeaned in our presence (these things includes when people talk about our pastor or our boss or someone else in our life).

This Advent and Christmas – let us pray about our tongue and our keyboard. Let us also think about how others speak or type in our presence – and speak up in love to the aid of others.

I was reading some posts on a private group of pastors and some made some comments that I wouldn’t want others to read. Some had shared a video with hateful comments about others. It was filled with bad language and racism. We need to rebuke such expressions as hate talk and – in love – try to impact those around us.

Let me get personal! You can like the Redskins but not hate the Cowboys! You can like the Ravens but not hate the Steelers! You can like the Orioles but not hate the Yankees! Dislike them all you want – but hatred of any kind is to be rebuked! This goes for liberals and conservatives – republicans and democrats. Just saying! Let us pray for one another and love one another. Let no hate enter our hearts.

Just something for us to think about today as we go on our way.

December 13, 2019 - Posted by | Advent Thought, Build, Christmas, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Daily Prayer, Denomination, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Outreach, Personal, Prayer, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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