How easy it can be to hate
This Hitchhiker grew up in New England, and I am a Patriots fan. So when the former franchise quarterback moves to a new team after providing two decades of great entertainment that led to six Super Bowl victories, of course, I am going to support him in pursuit of his seventh.
Let’s be clear; I have never met Tom Brady, nor have we ever spoken. I have no idea if he is a nice guy or a jerk. He appears to love his wife, adore his kids, and openly honors his mother and father. He has a reputation of being a hard worker, insanely well prepared, and obsessive about his health regimen. And he has a fiery spirit that gets him jawing in the heat of the battle. Again, Tom and I are not friends.
Through the years, I have had people viscerally react when they see I am a Patriots fan. They spew “hate” about TB; he’s a jerk; he’s arrogant, he’s a narcissist, has a God complex, etc. And these are just the church people.
So when these rants come up, I ask the ranter if they know TB personally; the answer is always “no.” When I inquire if they have ever spoken with him? The answer is still “no.” Then I end with, “You do know it’s not personal; it’s just football.”
Moving outward (or inward) – Who is it that you do not personally know that brings this type of visceral action out in you? (Hitler and his ilk do not count) Are they an athlete or a millionaire? Are they a community organizer or politician? Is it a cop or an activist? Are they one of “those people” that your favorite so-called-news channel tells you to be angry with? Maybe it’s one of the pundits from the channel you don’t watch?
Do you see the game here? Is it okay to hate someone you don’t personally know? Is it right to hate someone you have not sat down to have a cup of coffee with? Then again, is it okay to hate someone you do know?
“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven. For he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust.”Matthew 5:43-45
It is possible to hate someone you’re praying for! Ask God to move in their life, and you will quickly find that your hate slowly fades away.