The other day I saw the following phrase posted on Facebook, “I don’t have time to hate those who hate me, ’cause I’m busy loving those who love me”. It was under the heading called , ‘Best Inspirational and Motivational Thoughts’, but is it either of those things? Even though it’s saying to be positive in our thoughts, I don’t think it is that inspirational and if you read it carefully and think about it, you’ll most probably see it isn’t either. It might be telling us not to hate those who hate us and to concentrate on loving those who love us, but how easy is that to do? It’s very easy.
Anyone can love those who love them, but how many are able to love those who hate or dislike them? If they wanted to be truly inspiring and motivating they’d be telling us to learn how to love those who hate or dislike us as well, because that is where the real challenge and personal growth lies and not many manage to achieve doing it. One thing people find very difficult is to love those who hurt or harm them (or those close to them) in whatever way they’ve done so, but loving and liking are two different things. In order to love and forgive, you don’t need to actually like the person or forget what they’ve done to you. When you learn to do do those two things, you’ll find you’ve also set yourself free and the hurt, pain and anger will leave you to be replaced by a calmness and peace.
Like any other person I used to feel hatred or dislike towards those who were really bad to me, especially towards those who made me ill with the abuse received at their hands, until I learned I didn’t have to like them in order to do God’s will of loving my neighbour as myself. I can now honestly say that if any person of this world who has ever really hurt me (or still is) was to be in dire need tomorrow and come to me genuinely needing help, I’d help them if it was in my power to do so. That is what’s meant by loving thy neighbour as we’re told to do, but by helping them it doesn’t mean I would like the person and it wouldn’t mean I had forgotten all they’d done to or against me or mine.
Forgiveness is a lot harder to do, but one thing that helped me to manage it was by thinking of anything I might have done to offend God. If I ask His forgiveness and hope to receive it, why should I deny that same forgiveness to those who have hurt me? If people ask forgiveness and try hard not to hurt me again, it is easier to try to forgive them. But what about when they don’t ask forgiveness and they aren’t sorry, what happens then? I still forgive them and ask that they’ll find the peace that’s obviously lacking in their lives and hearts.
Happy and contented people don’t hurt others or do bad things deliberately to others. Only those who are unhappy in their own lives or jealous of what they think others have that they don’t, behave in this manner. Anyone truly happy and contented with their lot is too busy living to worry what others are doing and only want others to be as happy and contended as they are. Once we recognise this, we can understand why people try so hard to hurt others, it is to make themselves feel better and these people are to be pitied rather than hated or despised.
How they behave is often like any other illness only this is a sickness of their hearts and minds. We need to forgive them and pray for them. Lead by example and don’t lower yourselves to the levels they often stoop to. Having the ability to show forgiveness and love towards those who despise you the most, will show just how far you have travelled on your own journey in this life. Motivate or inspire someone today in your life by showing them how easy it can be to love those who hate or despise you. Go on and try it, it’s far easier than you think and all it takes is attitude of mind.
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