The day hate killed a man is a sad story of two men, both seriously ill, and occupying the same hospital room. One man was allowed to sit up in his bed for an hour each afternoon to help drain the fluid from his lungs. His bed was next to the room’s only window. The other man had to spend all his time flat on his back.
The men talked for hours on end. They spoke of their wives and families, their homes, their jobs, their involvement in the military service, where they had been on vacation. And every afternoon when the man in the bed by the window could sit up, he would pass the time by describing to his roommate all the things he could see outside the window.
One warm afternoon the man by the window described a parade passing by. Although the other man couldn’t hear the band, he could see it in his mind’s eye as the gentleman by the window portrayed it with descriptive words. Unexpectedly, an alien thought entered his head: Why should he have all the pleasure of seeing everything while I never get to see anything ?
It didn’t seem fair. As the thought fermented the man felt ashamed at first. But as the days passed and he missed seeing more sights, his envy eroded into hate and resentment and soon turned him sour. He began to brood and he found himself unable to sleep. He should be by that window – that thought now controlled his life.
Late one night as he lay staring at the ceiling, the man by the window began to cough. He was choking on the fluid in his lungs. The other man watched in the dimly lit room as the struggling man by the window groped for the button to call for help. Listening from across the room he never moved, never pushed his own button which would have brought the nurse running. In less than five minutes the coughing and choking stopped, along with the sound of breathing. Now there was only silence, deathly silence.
The following morning the day nurse arrived to bring water for their baths. When she found the lifeless body of the man by the window, she was saddened and called the hospital attendants to take it away — no works, no fuss. As soon as it seemed appropriate, the other man asked if he could be moved next to the window. The nurse was happy to make the switch, and after making sure he was comfortable, she left him alone.
Slowly, painfully, he propped himself up on one elbow to take his first look. Finally, he would have the joy of seeing it all himself. He strained to slowly turn to look out the window beside the bed. Behold, it faced a blank wall!1
Hatred, bitterness or envy, whatever you call it was what played out in the story above. The world is increasingly hateful. Every where we look, we see hate, resentment, prejudice, discrimination, and all manner of inhumanity. There is so much hate in the world.
Hatred is a major cause of victimization, war, and death in the world today. If you have been following the recent trends in the world, you will discover that many of the wanton destruction done to people and properties are borne out of hatred and hostility. The communal clashes, incessant killings and terrorism are all products of man’s inhumanity to man.
The absence of love engenders hate. As the end draws closer, the regards for fellow man will continue to decline because many refuse to retain God in their hearts (Romans 1:28). For us to live peaceably in this perverse world, we need to overcome hate by love even as God loves us. Love is the only antidote to hate. Therefore, Individuals should find ways to deal with, and surmount hatred.
What is hatred?
Hatred or hate is a negative emotional expression of intense dislike that is directed at an individual, object, behavior, entities, or idea. Hatred is often associated with feelings of anger, disgust and a disposition towards hostility. In his letter, Apostle John counted hatred as serious as murder. He wrote, “whosoever hateth his brother is a murderer and you know that no murderer hath eternal life abiding in himself” (1 John 3).
Hatred can be said to be good when it is an expression of dislike to sin and wickedness. The scriptures admonishes us to hate sin but not the sinners. However, cruel hatred is a negative expression that is directed at an individual with the aim of victimization. Hatred leads to bitterness that steals the hater’s joy.
Those who labour hatred are called fools. It is a proof of immaturity. Hatred breeds envy. It leads to grudge and deceit. It is unfortunate that many people harbour hatred against their human and still pretend to be loving. Such persons carries a poisonous venom called hate, and are liable to perpetuate evil and even murder. Gladly this poison can only be healed when God’s love is shed abroad in your heart.
Why do people hate?
People exhibit hatred for different reasons:
Self comparison: When we constantly determine our self worth by comparing with others who are probably better than us, we can easily be plunged into envy which can engender hate. The feeling that others do not deserve that which they have, their gifts, successful career, position, family, popularity, wealth, achievements and so on, may spring bitterness that can lead to hate.
How does one know whether he or she abhors hate?
Whenever you look down on or deny the worth of another. When you perpetually want to avoid a particular person because you don’t feel good about their successes, then you abhor hatred. When you become hostile to your neighbor because of his achievements, and you constantly wish such persons dead, then you are a hater. When you take pleasure in keeping a grudge against your fellow human, and it becomes difficult to forgive such person or group, and all you wish is the destruction of such, then your mind is full of hate.
How can we overcome hatred?
Note that it is devilish to return evil for evil. We should never attempt to take laws into our hands, or be revengeful. The following are helpful steps to overcoming hatred:
1. Acknowledge the problem – Identify the root cause of your hatred.
2. Be accountable to someone – Share your feelings with someone who is more mature.
3. Determine to love – Love is the key to surmount hatred.
4. Be content with whatsoever you have – If you do so, you will not hate your fellow who is endowed with God’s blessings.
5. Understand that we differ in actions and attitude – Try to understand others with regards to their personality traits and learn to overlook their offences for the sake of God.
6. Do something good for the person whom you dislike – This might be humanly difficult, but is one hard step you need to take to overcome hatred.
7. Express your unhappiness – It is not a sin to express your unhappiness or displeasure with people’s actions, but it has to be done as quickly as possible, and resolved before it leads to hatred in your heart.
8. Pray for the person who is the object of your hatred – Choose to bless others and not curse them.
When you are hurt, or feel spited, certainly you can get angry. Getting angry and getting hurt are not wrong in themselves, because they are emotional expressions. But, anger becomes sin when you allow it to build hatred in your heart. Do not let the sin of hatred ruin your eternal joy. Make a difference by replacing hatred with love. You are winning! Yes, we are winning!
Contributor: Caleb Ajani
Pastor, Peace Baptist Church, Iwo, Osun State, Nigeria
1Source: Author Unknown.