Wednesday’s Words: Handling Hate

 “Anyone who hides hatred is a liar.”  Proverbs 10: 18

 

Just a few verses before the above quote, we’re told, “Hate stirs up trouble, but love forgives all offenses.”  (Proverbs 10: 12)    Hate stirs up trouble, but if we hide hatred we are liars. What are we supposed to do?

 

I’m no expert, but speaking only for myself, I have a few thoughts. I’m learning to be more honest about what I feel.

 

As a child, when I said “I feel angry” or “I hate you,” I was told, “No you don’t.”  I don’t?  It sure feels like I do.  I must be wrong.  Over the years I got very good at lying to myself about what I was feeling.

 

Today, it is crucial for me to admit my angry feelings to myself.  But admitting my anger is not the same as acting it out. Finding safe ways to express and work through my anger without hurting myself or anybody else is essential. I find it helpful to write my feelings out and then destroy the writing so no one else can read or be hurt by it.  Talking in confidence to a trusted friend, spiritual advisor, and God about my anger also helps. Once expressed, the feelings settle down and I can see more clearly what – if anything – I need to do.

 

Feelings come and go.  We can choose our actions regardless of how we happen to feel at any given moment. Giving ourselves time, space, and permission to work through angry feelings safely can save us from regret.

 

Prayer:  Lord, teach us to be honest about our feelings and still act in love.

 

Reflection for sharing:  What are some safe ways to express feelings honestly?

 

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Meditations

But Jesus answered “The scripture says, ‘Human beings cannot live on bread alone, but need every word that God speaks.’” (Matthew 4:4)

 

All Bible quotes are from the Good News Translation unless otherwise noted.

 

It is reassuring that Jesus called fishermen and tax collectors to be his followers. These were laymen, not Scripture experts. It is wise to seek guidance from religious scholars and clergy who have studied Scripture to avoid errors in interpretation. But the Bible is also a gift given to each of us, to use as a basis for prayer and meditation.

 

I’m not a Biblical scholar; I’m an expert only on my own experience. Following the Scripture passage is a brief meditation along with a question or two as a springboard for your own reflections. Please feel free to share your own thoughts or insights on the passage by adding a comment. All comments are moderated, so please allow some time for your comment to be posted.

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