Are You a Hater? How to Tell, and How to Change
When you find yourself constantly thinking something derogatory about someone else, watch out—you have hatred brewing in your heart.
Just like weeds growing in your garden need to be pulled right away before they choke out all the pretty flowers, hatred needs to be spotted and eradicated before it crowds out all your inner beauty.
How do you know if you have a hatred problem?
Ask yourself these questions:
- Do I have a grudge against someone that never seems to go away or even lessen?
- Do I feel something resembling pain in my body every time I see or hear about this person?
- When I hear about good things that have happened to this person, does it raise ugly feelings inside of me?
- Am I frequently thinking negative thoughts about this person?
- Do I feel justified in my feelings towards this person?
If you answered yes to any of these questions, hatred is likely growing in your heart.
The fact that you may never outright tell this person, “I hate you,” doesn’t make your feelings any kinder; it simply means that you’ve learned to control your reactions and hide your true feelings behind a façade.
As righteous as your hatred may feel, allowing it to take up residence in your heart can invite much ugliness into your life. It’s like a portal for negative developments, such as physical illness, poor performance, and a bad attitude.
Do you want to close that portal? I hope you do. I spent a good number of years harboring hatred, and the bitterness it grew in my heart infected many relationships in my life and caused me—and others—a lot of pain.
Oh, it’s not that big a deal, you may say. I don’t act on it. And how could I change my feelings anyway? This person is truly unlikable.
Don’t fool yourself. What’s in your heart will eventually come out of your mouth. And even if you pinned your mouth shut, the venom will still seep out of every crack and crevice, for hatred cannot be hidden. It infects your actions, your attitude, and even your countenance. Have you ever seen a beautiful woman who looks ugly? Chances are hatred has infected her soul.
Don’t let that be you! If you are struggling with hatred and unforgiveness may I suggest an invaluable resource that many of my clients have found helpful. It’s RT Kendall’s book “Total Forgiveness”
The only true way to rid yourself of hatred is to admit that you have it and ask the Holy Spirit to help you get rid of it. And soon, instead of saying “I hate you,” you’ll be saying “God bless you.”