Keep Your Friends Close and Your Enemies in Prayer

hateful women

I’m unsure who should be credited with coining the phrase, “Haters Gonna Hate”,  But I hear people use it all the time: in the grocery store, at school, even at church!

Everyone has critics in life.  But these “haters” have taken it to a whole new level.  They voluntarily and intentionally try to bring harm to another through their words or actions.  For some reason, these individuals have become desensitized to the feelings of others.

These days, it’s too easy to hide behind a computer screen while wreaking havoc on even the least suspecting victims. Maybe you lost weight or even put on some weight recently and someone criticized your new look. Perhaps you got a promotion at work and someone was less than complimentary or upset about it. How about when you shared exciting stories about your loved ones and felt that others were disinterested or belittling of your journey. Or maybe someone was just rude to you for no reason.

In life there will be people who misunderstand us or do not grasp the purpose of our journeys.   This could be manifested in un-requited friendships with other women, missed opportunities for promotion at work, or even direct engagement of hate from another. Unfortunately, these are not new problems.  Jealousy, self-esteem issues and anger are emotions that people have dealt with for ages, even in the Bible!  You see, these bullies we encounter on a daily basis are plagued by one or several of those emotions. There are countless triggers for haters.  These individuals tend to lack self-esteem.  They find the successes of others intimidating.  They could be carrying unrelated emotional baggage.  Or there may simply be a miscommunication between the two of you that needs to be sorted out.

Whatever the excuse, it is never acceptable to cause pain to another.  We need to remember that the “hate” we experience is not about us.  It is all about the “hater” and issues they are experiencing in their own lives. When people judge us, it does not define who we are, it defines who they are.

They are looking for a reaction.  They want you to engage them on their level, but rather than paying these individuals back with hasty, mean words of our own, let’s love them to Christ.  Let’s forgive them, even without an apology, as Christ did on the cross when He said, “Father, forgive them for they know not what they do.” (Luke 23:34)

 

Even though it can seem unbearable to deal with the criticism, negativity or hurt that others’ bring into our lives, we can make efforts to change the cycle.  We are only responsible for our own actions and reactions.  We can pray for God to intervene and in the meantime, lean on Him for strength.

People will attack you.  Pray for them anyway.

People will try to hurt you.  Extend grace anyway.

People will attempt to rob you of your joy.  Love them anyway.

 

The next time we encounter someone with unkind words or malicious intent, let’s remember that their words and / or actions are of no consequence in the bigger picture of life.  God is the judge and the jury.  It is His favor and His alone, that we seek. If we take a kind approach with those who are unkind, eventually we will wear them down or they will get bored with not receiving a reaction and move on.  We should resist the urge to give them the satisfaction of a response to their behavior.  Instead, let’s conquer their hatred with kindness. You know the feeling when someone smiles at you?  It’s next to impossible not to smile back.  The next time we encounter a “hater” let’s remember this quote:

“Haters gonna hate, but I will just keep on LOVIN’ them to Christ!”

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