| |

Don’t Hate…Meditate

“If I get 1,000 compliments and one insult, guess which one I listen to? The insult, of course. I have an unbelievable ability to ignore a swarm of positive words and camp out on the one negative.” Jon Acuff

Et tu, Acuff?  This is from a short post excellently titled, “Quit Giving The Haters PhDs.” He refers to the tendency in our minds to promote those who snipe and sideline those who encourage. No great formula, he simply says we should “stop it.”

Good advice.

There definitely seems to be something of our identity involved. Who do we listen to and why? Are we getting our identity from our Father, or from anywhere/everywhere/anyone else? Do we believe the extravagant truth of God’s love for those who belong to Christ? Do we operate out of that reality?

Why not?

I think I’d add to Jon’s good advice a bit (and I suspect he would too). We need to be intentionally preaching the Gospel to ourselves and focusing on belief over unbelief, on happily receiving the Good News.

The Devil’s name is Accuser. It’s what he does.

A further question, beyond who we listen to, is which kind of person are we in others’ lives? Is it our job to “set everyone straight,” and to make sure everyone says right things all the time?

Are we functioning more like the Holy Spirit (Advocating, Comforting), or the Accuser (throwing stones, devouring)? While loving correction and righteous anger are good things, do we major on conflict and anger? Do we believe the Holy Spirit is really pretty much an Accuser and that we are his agents in the world?

Is our life a kind of slander against God the Spirit?

Have you ever heard those phrases people come back with, like: “Don’t Hate…participate,” or, “Don’t hate…articulate?”

Try this phrase on for size.

Don’t hate, meditate.

Don’t hate: Don’t believe the lie that we are called to set everyone straight about ______ on the internet. Maybe we’re called to love? Love’s easier to hear when we’re not screaming, foaming at the mouth, or typing ALL CAPS!

Meditate: on the Good News of God’s radical mercy to us, his love for us in Christ and how the Holy Spirit advocates for us, comforts us. Meditate on how the point even of God’s correction of his kids is not punishment (our sin’s already been punished in Christ), but loving discipline toward more joy in him.

Maybe this little phrase will pop into our heads the next time the radio host, or blog writer, or Moralist preacher (or whatever Masters we serve) tell us to get mad about something. Maybe we can refocus when we’re commanded to go spy out whoever doesn’t agree with US and fight, fight, fight ’em all till all compromisers and impure ones are defeated!

Yeah, let’s not do that. Let’s meditate on the Good News and be agents of Mercy and Reconciliation. Let’s do Truth and Grace! And maybe we should consider dumping the radio host/blogger/author/moralist preacher/slanderer who makes us so mad at “those people” and simultaneously puffs us up because we “just believe what the Bible says,” or some other proud pronouncement.

God have mercy on me, a sinner. God, thank you for loving me in an extravagant way, a saint!

8 Comments

  1. Challenging and convicting questions. Thank you. I think you gave us an example of a gentle, non-accusatory response in the tone in which you wrote this.

    Graduation in our local high school spawned a controversy over whether or not prayer should be a part of the service. Fear, defensiveness, and indignation caused the situation to escalate, but it was a gentle answer, loving concern, and a prayer for the instigator that defused it.

    I, all too often, believe the accusations of the evil one. Lies that scream “You’re a nobody. You are unlovely, unlovable, and unloved. You are a failure. You deserve death.” No more! Jesus sits at God’s right hand as my advocate, and he says, “Not guilty.” What’s more, I have the Holy Spirit living inside me, speaking truer things of me. Today, may I meditate on the Good News of God’s acceptance through Christ, and may I be an agent of his Mercy and Reconciliation.

  2. You’re spot on here. It’s all too easy to fall into the trap of the lies of the enemy. Preaching the gospel to myself and to others rescues me from this trap. We are children of the King! We are Loved, adopted, treasured, blessed, cared for, heard, protected … all from the Father. Great reminder. Thanks!

  3. Thanks, mKhulu, or Babawami.

    Yes, Breann, thank you. I frequently find your voice is exactly what I’m talking about/aspiring to. Thank you.

    Thanks, Jeff. Hoping this continues to sink in deeper and deeper.

  4. In the gospel is no room for pride, for we are at best fellows with those we find in sin & error. But in the gospel is no room for condemnation, for we were bought with great price. Those who are forgiven much, love much.

    Thanks for reminding me of this.

  5. I think this entry is slightly off. I have a minor problem here-

    Are we functioning more like the Holy Spirit (Advocating, Comforting), or the Accuser (throwing stones, devouring)?

    These are accurate, but not sufficient. I think that any faithful ministry of the Word, even if it speaks the truth in love, will be persecuted and bring division.

    Would you have been comfortable to write the section

    Are we functioning more like the Holy Spirit (Advocating, Comforting, Dividing, Uniting, Convicting), or the Accuser (throwing stones, devouring, speaking the truth in hate, comforting those who don’t need comfort)?

    I think comfort can also be a tool of the devil, and often is. What is your sense on the issue? Have I gone too far?

  6. Thanks for commenting, Robert. Good point.

    I think that’s a good addition. A blog post isn’t a good place to flesh it all out– it’s necessarily quite limited. But I at least don’t want to be misleading (at least where I can be clear, in brief).

    Thanks for speaking up and challenging my thinking/expression in such a kind way.

  7. Thanks for the encouragement. It’s something I’ve been thinking a lot about recently. I’m always happy when Christians can disagree and be loving. It’s very hard though. The line between wisdom and foolishness is sometimes so paper-thin. “Answer a fool according to his folly… do not answer a fool according to his folly.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.