In the heat of the moment or after a sustained attack on our spirit by others, we can feel as though we have every right to hate. How is it possible that those who do us wrong and have no regrets are deserving of our love and compassion? Well, just like we're not deserving of God's love and compassion but receive it regardless so are we called to extend such kindness to people whether or not we think they deserve it.
Jesus was wronged more than any of us ever will be, but he chose love over hate in response. As In the moments before his death, Jesus said: "Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing," (Luke 23:34) as lots were cast to divide up his clothing.
No matter how hard we find it to forgive someone for hurting us, how great we believe the injustice that we've suffered is or how impossible someone's sin against us is to forgive, Jesus shows us there is always a choice to act in love and not hate (Hebrews 2:18).
The lure of hatred can be tempting and sometimes it can be so subtle that we don't even realise that we're guilty of it until God shines a light on it for us. But whether we're fighting the unholy urge to hate others or are working to overcome feelings of hatred that we already have for an individual,
Although hate has the power to damage us and those around us, love is so much more powerful and restores us, renews us and removes the destructive effects that accompany a desire to carry out retribution and dismiss the concept of forgiveness.
The slideshow above offers some Bible verses tohelp us build up a picture of why there's no place for hate in the heart of a Christian.