So what do you do when faced with someone under the influence, the influence of hate? I say Cancel that Date with Hate. There is nothing written in any book, in any song, in any form whatsoever, that mandates that you have to subject your life spirit to hate’s poison. We sometimes are faced with so much hatred, so much bitterness, so much anguish and turmoil that our spirit driven lives get bogged down, even sullied occasionally. We can sometimes inadvertently become magnets to such negative energy when we ourselves start to wear clothing not meant for us, when we discard the whole armor of God.
During this very political season and the one to follow, you will see the enemy’s horns more and more and in almost every place you look. Reading through various social media sites it’s very easy to spot. People don’t really discuss the pro and cons of a thing, they just scream blindly at one another, casting disparaging remarks upon one another, using the vilest of language and the anonymity of the Internet as a cover. And if you dare to step in, participate, comment from a corner tempered in reason, you will certainly experience the hatred first hand. I think because of the anonymity of the Internet, people are emboldened to be as rude as possible, as hurtful as possible, and spew as much hate laced hyperbole around as possible.
But the Internet isn’t the only medium where this red devil shows its tail. You see it on the highways and byways, the street corners and office spaces we encounter in our daily grind. It’s the whispers and the mean spirited comments that are spoken when speakers think no one is listening. You see it even on the play grounds and classrooms all across America. It’s unavoidable as long as one draws breath. The longer one is exposed to so much negative energy, the more likely they will lose focus on that which is good, on true life, on the promises that lie ahead. So I say Cancel that Date with Hate. Let someone else take up that dance card.
What do you do when the enemy attempts to destroy you, belittle you, and push you down into submission? This after all is one of hates many objectives. Some might say you punch him in the nose and teach him not to mess with you! How many bullied children do you think that actually works for? How many little guys, when faced with a towering pile of fat, muscle and intimidation, rise up, cock back and launch a haymaker smack into the nose of their antagonist? Odds are that there are very, very few that do and succeed. Why? Human nature? Fight or flight instincts? Common sense? All of the above? So if the little guy does go on the offensive, the majority of the time he…or she is going to get their clock punched because the bully normally has the numbers and the size and the experience. Whenever this tactic does work it’s because of the element of complete surprise and timing. So how then do you Cancel that Date with Hate?
Easy. The Word of God says that if we resist the devil he will flee from us (James 4:6-8). Does this mean that we lay hands and fight the devil? Is this what is meant by resistance? Not necessarily. You resist by refusing to participate in those activities that enrich the enemy. When you submit your life to God you are resisting the enemy. When you draw closer to God, He comes closer to you (James 4:7). Darkness will never be able to overcome light, never has and never will (John 1:5). The enemy cannot withstand the presence of God in your life. There will always be an over balance and overabundance of power in you when God is in you…and the enemy knows this (I John 4:4). The bully may be a roaring lion but that is all that he is. He knows his end and you must remind yourself of that elegant truth as well.
But how exactly do I Cancel the Date with Hate? Hatred is one of those emotions that craves company. So practice resisting the enemy by walking with the Lord and steer clear of those filled with hate. Don’t participate, don’t engage, don’t touch and agree on statements of hate, and don’t even walk in the same paths as those that revel in hate’s toxic atmosphere. Don’t be drawn in. In other words don’t expose your goodness to darkness (Matthew 7:6), don’t lay down your integrity or your good name. The playground bully can’t be a bully if there is no one to bully. The playground bully draws strength from fear but perfect love casts out all fear (1 John 4:18) and God is that love! When you draw nigh unto God, when you find your secret place in Him, His shadow will be your cover, your protection and insulation from all the fiery darts of the enemy (Palms 91:1; Ephesians 6:16).
Last, when confronted by the hatred of others in whatever form, remember who you are. Remember who is at work in the life of the hate speaker. Confront hate with the peace of the Lord God Jesus Christ. Turn the other cheek and by this I mean, refuse to engage in a verbal confrontation. Use your tongue to speak life and that more abundantly. Use your tongue to create a new reality, a new condition in the life of the hate speaker and then exercise your will upon that which you have spoken. Pray on that planted seed and watch it grow and produce new life in that which was dead. This is how you Cancel the Date with Hate. The enemy won’t get it, he won’t understand it, but he will flee from you and in his place…a garden of peace abides!