Overcoming The Spirit Of Hatred And Self-Justification

I find that the spirits of hatred and self-justification often work together. For example, a person divorces their husband, but is unable to “get over” the divorce. A spirit of “hatred” and “self-justification” seems to linger around that person. One way you will know that such a condition exists, is if you, being the one who has divorced your spouse, simply can’t say the divorced person’s name: you find it dis-tasteful, abhorent even. Or, perhaps it is a person at work whom you once got along with. Now, you always avoid that person — and can’t stand to be near him (or her). Surely you will suffer great dismay in your life if you do not learn to forgive that other person. He or she is a human being, you know, with the same “propensity towards sinning” as you or I. You’ve got to learn to forgive.

Without naming names, which can be so easy to do (yet highly deceptive as we try to “clear ourselves” of our own guilt in any particular situation), we may be honest and forthright in saying that “sin” is the problem. “Sin” lives in me and you. Ultimately — though perhaps for a time — sin cannot survive in God’s presence. I say “ultimately” knowing that God does “visit the world” in the form of His Son, and His Spirit is indeed here on this earth, working in and through various individuals. In this sense, God does “tolerate” or “put up” with this thing called “sin” because he purposely, willfully, visits this sinful world in order to love us. However, he does so with the purpose of “attracting us back to himself” — rather than desiring to “put up with sin.” As Jesus Himself said, “O unbelieving and perverse generation … How long shall I put up with you?” (Matthew 17:17) That is why I say, “ultimately,” sin cannot survive in God’s presence. For a time, yes, but not forever. A day is coming when God shall judge the earth, and all those who have ever lived in it. The Bible makes that clear!

So then, what about this spirit of hatred and self-justification? Is it justifyable? “Whosoever hateth his brother is a murderer: and ye know that no murderer hath eternal life abiding in him.” (1 John 3:15) It is therefore not justifyable. God may put up with our sin for a time, but He will not put up with it forever. If we then keep on sinning then, who is the one who is suffering? Is it not us and not the other person whom we despise? For what profit is there in despising the other person, if we alone are the one to suffer? But here, I will show you a more excellent way to “combat” those whom you seek to “destroy” (I say this in jest). It is called the “love way.” Simply put, we are to love our enemies. That could (and I believe should) start with praying for them, but then must be followed up with action:

“44 But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; 45 That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust. 46 For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? do not even the publicans the same? 47 And if ye salute your brethren only, what do ye more than others? do not even the publicans so? 48 Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect. (Matthew 5:44-48)

Again, we read, “21 If your enemy is hungry, give him food to eat; And if he is thirsty, give him water to drink; 22 For you will heap burning coals on his head, And the LORD will reward you.” (Proverb 25:21-22)

Now what is the reason for which the Lord will reward you for doing this “good” to your enemies? What have you done **for** Him in the process? Simply this: You have allowed yourself to be used as a vessel to “reach out and bless” that other person, with the same love and respect that God himself has touched you through another person. You are therefore permitting God to use you, so that you can be his “hands and feet.” He needs you, then, to do that, because it is his will that “none perish, but all come to repentance” (2 Peter 3:9).