Jumat, 20 Maret 2015

Jesus Loves Haters

Jesus Loves Haters
By Brian Nixon, Special to ASSIST News Service
ALBUQUERQUE, NEW MEXICO (ANS – March 16, 2015) -- Hate is a strong word.
Using the word conveys deep-seated feelings towards a person or thing. Being on one end of hatred—hating a person or thing or being hated, causes animosity, resentment, discouragement, bitterness, and anger.
While many know the word hate, the word hater is not as widely recognized.
According to NPR journalist Linton Weeks, however, “Haters are here. And there. And everywhere. And the word 'hate' is in the air.”[1]
haters 1Litton goes on to describe haters as people ranging “from disrupters at political rallies to sign makers at sports contests, from erudite misanthropes to semiliterate missive senders, from stand-up comedy hecklers to dish-served-cold revenge-seekers.
“They can be passionate or passive-aggressive. They can be smart or stupid. But nowadays they seem to be everywhere. What is their point? 'Haters want to be feared and heard,' says Brian Britt, a professor of religious studies at Virginia Tech University who studies the evolution of hate. 'Their use of outrageous behaviors is designed strategically to get attention. They violate norms of “niceness” and civil behavior in order to make a point.'“[2]
And “make a point” haters do, wreaking havoc in other's lives, situations, and beliefs.
Linton Weeks is right—haters seem to be everywhere. There's even a wikiHow page created for haters.[3]
Among the thousands of topics wikiHow had offered advice on—How To Get Rid of a Cold Sore with Home Remedies, How to Annotate, How to Ice Your Windshield, How To Be Knight, How To Stop Biting Your Nails—there is now a page called How to Stop Being a Hater.
Here's the advice the page offers advice:[4]
1. Take a step back
2. Stop comparing yourself to others
3. Define success your way
4. Think about what you say before you say it
5. Avoid the things you hate
While the advice given doesn’t exactly help define what a hater is, it sure gives a clue as to the root of the problem: anger, hurt, disdain, frustration, and bitterness against someone or something.
Just a cursory Internet search shows that haters are universal—there are websites dedicated to hating people and places from all around the world (from pop stars[5] to popcorn[6]).
There are even websites dedicated to helping you cope with haters.
Maybe you’re a hater. We hope not. But if you are, or if you're dealing with haters—those that are heated, harmful and hurtful—the good news is that Jesus loves haters and wants to restore their hearts (the source of the intentions behind their remarks), their head (thoughts) and hands (actions). Jesus wants to turn the hater into a lover of God and people.
The Internet has moved hating much more into the public conversation, but hating has been around as long as, well, hatred.
According to Dictionary.com, the verb hate means to dislike intensely or passionately; feel extreme aversion for or extreme hostility toward; to detest.”[7]
The noun for hater means a person who greatly dislikes a specified person or thing. The Urban Dictionary gives a little more insight: “A person that simply cannot be happy for another person's success. So rather than be happy, they make a point of exposing a flaw in that person. Hating, the result of being a hater, is not exactly jealousy. The hater doesnt (sic) really want to be the person he or she hates[;] rather the hater wants to knock [someone else] down a notch.”[8]
Perhaps the most common usage of the word hater is in the phrase Haters gonna hate, used to call out someone who has expressed unfounded negative emotions toward someone else. In that sense, the phrase is a rebuke. For example, a hater might say, “If Frank is doing so well, why is he driving that '74 Mustang?” A non-hater's response would be along the lines of, “Haters gonna hate. Let the man drive what he wants.”
When discovering what the Bible has to say about hatred, blame-shifting, or insults, there are a host of scripture references to help the hater deal with their attitude and actions. Here is a small sampling:
Leviticus 19:17: “You shall not hate your brother in your heart. You shall surely rebuke your neighbor, and not bear sin because of him.”
Proverbs 8:13: “The fear of the LORD is to hate evil; pride and arrogance and the evil way and the perverse mouth I hate.”
Proverbs 19:3: “The foolishness of a man twists his way, and his heart frets against the LORD.”
Matthew 7:1-2: “Judge not, that you be not judged. For with what judgment you judge, you will be judged; and with the measure you use, it will be measured back to you.”
Luke 6:27-28: “But I say to you who hear: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, and pray for those who spitefully use you.”
Romans 12:9: “Let love be without hypocrisy. Abhor what is evil. Cling to what is good.”
Galatians 5:15: “But if you bite and devour one another, beware lest you be consumed by one another!”
Ephesians 4:31: “Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice.”
Hebrews 12:14: “Pursue peace with all people, and holiness, without which no one will see the Lord.”
When developing a plan to combat hatred—whether it's yours or someone else's—consider this acronym, which offers a response of FAITH. To paraphrase a popular church saying, Hate the hatred, not the hater.
F—Forgive. Forgive them. Jesus is clear: we are called to forgive people, even those we do not like or get along with.
A—Accept or Acknowledge. Accept the criticism of you, if it is legitimate. But if the person is “hating for hating’s sake,” acknowledge their words, then entrust the person to the Lord through prayer.
I—Initiate. Initiate a conversation about Christ. Take the opportunity to share the Gospel or biblical text concerning love, hope, and kindness. Do so in a spirit of friendliness. Do not repay anger with anger, evil with evil.
T—Trust. Trust God to work in the person’s heart. Know that “haters” have a built-in system of responding to people or circumstances in a negative way. If the person is a Christian, take them to Scripture, showing biblical responses (such as Colossians 3:12-17) to offset negative talk. In short, give them tools for their tool chest, a new way to work through the trials and temptations of “hating.”
H—Healing. As you work through a plan to help the person, give it time. Healing and restoration are part of the process. Allow God to be the healer; you can help the person by pointing them to Christ.
Jesus loves haters—will you?
To learn more about the Jesus Loves People series at Calvary Albuquerque, click here: http://jesuslovespeople.com/
[1] http://www.npr.org/2011/12/30/144384533/haters-are-going-to-hate-this-story
[2] Ibid. http://www.npr.org/2011/12/30/144384533/haters-are-going-to-hate-this-story
[3] A Do-it-yourself Internets site: http://www.wikihow.com/Main-Page
[4] http://www.wikihow.com/Stop-Being-a-Hater
[5] http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2014/08/25/why-we-should-hate-haters-gonna-hate.html
[6] http://grooveshark.com/#!/search/song?q=Shael+Riley+The+Popcorn+Hater
[7] http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/hater
[8] http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=hater
Photo caption: Jesus Loves Haters logo
Note: Please feel free to use this or any of our ANS stories with attribution to the ASSIST News Service (www.assistnews.net)
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