“For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this; Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. But if ye bite and devour one another, take heed that ye be not consumed one of another.” (Galatians 5:14-15)
Nothing to hate but hate itself
Hate never pans out. The scorched-earth policy of hate ends in the annihilation of the person in question. To where they’re barely but a memory. And Paul is talking to Christians. “If ye bite and devour one another…” Just be careful (facetious tone) you don’t eat them up. That’s called cannibalism and I don’t think God allows it but I’d have to read the Ten Commandments again.
Hate is the opposite of love. And so hate comes naturally. Any love in the world has been disseminated from long-ago-even-now from Heaven. The deep stirrings of hate begin to show (at least in me) when I have an unmet expectation. When someone disrespects me for whatever invalid reason. When I’m slighted in traffic. I hate hate. I also hate the devil because it’s of him that we have this. And yet, we’re the ones responsible for maintaining purity of our heart and mind before the Lord. Look what James says: “We love Him, because He first loved us. If a man say, I love God, and hateth his brother (or sister, or anyone for this matter), he is a liar: for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen? And this commandment have we from him, That he who loveth God love his brother also.” Don’t hate.
God hath no fury.
“Fury is not in me: who would set the briers and thorns against me in battle? I would go through them, I would burn them altogether. Or let him take hold of my strength, that he may make peace with me; and he shall make peace with me.” (Isaiah 27:4-5)
“Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord. Therefore if thine enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirst, give him drink…” (Romans 12:19-20a, emphasis mine)
I write this and think about those who have wronged me. I don’t have a life full of scandal with detractors dogging my thoughts and inciting worry and unfounded imagination. I do have people, however, that I’d rather not see in my daily life. And when I wind up my thoughts about them as I go about the minutiae of my day, I inevitably come up against an erected mental barrier that, should I see said individual at some point in the future, no matter the circumstances, the barrier will do its thing in keeping them out. Now, I don’t think it’s good that certain people stay in our lives. Even as we live in the same community, the world is big enough to have “our town to ourselves”, if that makes sense. But for Christian community to form and coalesce, the “wrath”, for lack of a better word, must be dissipated through continued forgiveness and a willingness to “tear down this wall” (how Eighties). Not sure I know what “give place unto wrath” means. Does it mean to let God parse it out where it belongs? God knows. How ’bout this: “Surely the wrath of man shall praise Thee: the remainder of wrath shalt Thou restrain.” (Psalm 76:10)
The Latin term res ipsa loquitur means that it’s our responsibility should an injury occur. Seen in this way, the rule of “res ipsa loquitur” comes into play when we, through neglect and/or laziness prevent God from growing the Body of Christ as He wants. God puts it in our hands to see that the very real things of hate and wrath are dealt with correctly. The blood of Christ is necessary to prevent us from being caught red-handed with hate and wrath and to see them replaced with their counterparts of love and mercy.