Sunday Devotional: Hate not

Matthew 18:21-22

Peter approached Jesus and asked him,
“Lord, if my brother sins against me,
how often must I forgive?
As many as seven times?”
Jesus answered, “I say to you,
not seven times but seventy-seven times.”

Why?

Because we are told —

Sirach 27:30-28:7

Wrath and anger are hateful things,
yet the sinner hugs them tight.
The vengeful will suffer the LORD’s vengeance,
for he remembers their sins in detail.
Forgive your neighbor’s injustice;
then when you pray, your own sins will be forgiven.
Could anyone nourish anger against another
and expect healing from the LORD?
Could anyone refuse mercy to another like himself,
can he seek pardon for his own sins?
If one who is but flesh cherishes wrath,
who will forgive his sins?
Remember your last days, set enmity aside;
remember death and decay, and cease from sin!
Think of the commandments, hate not your neighbor;
remember the Most High’s covenant, and overlook faults.

In other words, the reasons for not hating another, but instead forgiving those who have wronged against us, are both practical and just:

  1. Practicality: Wrath, anger, hate, and vengefulness are sins (“hateful things”) and God remembers our sins “in detail”.
  2. Fairness: Do to others what you would have others do unto you. How can we expect God to forgive us, if we refuse to forgive others?

 

Here are other practical reasons to eschew anger, hatred, and vengefulness:

  • Those emotions affect our judgment. To quote Godfather 3: “Never hate your enemies — it affects your judgment”.
  • Anger and hostility (hate) make us more prone to heart attacks. Research found that healthy people who are often angry or hostile are 19% more likely than calmer people to get heart disease; and among people with heart disease, those who usually feel angry or hostile fare worse than others. Emotions of anger, hatred and vengefulness ramp up our “fight or flight” response, sending stress hormones, including adrenaline and cortisol, which speed up our heart rate and breathing, tighten blood vessels, and raise blood pressure, in order that we can run for our life or fight an enemy. But if this happens often, it causes wear and tear on our artery walls. (WebMD)

May the peace and love of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you,

~Eowyn

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17 responses to “Sunday Devotional: Hate not

  1. Quite relevant just now (as always) – since a neighbor cursed me for saying I would pray for her, calling me an “idiot” and my religion (Christianity) “stupid” and my God “false.” May God have mercy on her and may God keep all of us on his path, which is not a warpath, but the Way of real peace, real truth and real forgiveness.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Thank you, Dr. Eowyn!

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Good advice.
    Hate is harmful as one tends to dwell on it and it can seriously affect one’s thinking.
    However, forgetting wrongs done to us leaves us vulnerable as we can see from the continued terrorist activities of muslims. Once the object of hate is eliminated it is no longer necessary to hate it or them.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Indeed, to forgive doesn’t mean to forget. God doesn’t mean us to be stupid. We need to remember those who wronged us because we most definitely should avoid them and not give them an opportunity to wrong and hurt us again.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Can anyone clarify the term “brother” in Peters question? I see that as a fellow Christian who is truly a child of God, therefore pagans, muzzies, satanists etc who do us evil are not included in the requirement of forgiveness. Or am I wrong?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Interesting question, Tony.
      The pastor at Mass this morning actually gave a rare homily that was insightful and useful. He made a distinction between “forgive” and “forget” — that forgiving another doesn’t mean we forget what the other did. If we forget, then we’ll be setting ourselves up for the other to wrong us again.

      To forgive is to remember WITHOUT the toxic emotions of anger, resentment, hatred and hostility. I can testify from my own experience that such forgiveness is entirely doable. I can reflect on the wrongs that people have done to me, WITHOUT attaching those emotions — or any emotion — to the memories. I can genuinely, honestly say that I don’t hate anyone. I object to people like Hillary Clinton and George Soros who do my country such harm, but I don’t hate them. I don’t invest that strong an emotion in them. To do so would be giving them power over me which they don’t and should never have.

      Hope this helps!

      Liked by 2 people

  5. Reblogged this on necltr and commented:

    “Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us.” Whether they ask for forgiveness or not. I need to remind myself of the principles of this posting often. Doesn’t always work, but I am getting better.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Reblogged this on kommonsentsjane and commented:

    Reblogged on kommonsentsjane/blogkommonsents.

    Sunday Devotional.

    kommonsntsjane

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Today’s homily follows what could be described as rather “severe” Gospel readings. While there is the example of forgiveness displayed by the master to his servant, the servant’s faliure to do likewise for his fellow servant is promised to be treated harshly.

    We are accepted for who we are, warts and all. Our Father in Heaven expects the same from us toward others. We must first struggle to recognize our faults and then to attempt to overcome them. We realize that we will die a flawed human being. We must pray for the wisdom to understand that everyone else we encounter is also flawed. The ultimate “punishment/rejection” does not come from us, as it is not ours to do.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. I believe when we waste our energy on toxic people, we become toxic.
    I believe forgiveness is another way to spiritually detox.
    We become hypocrites when we expect God’s forgiveness, yet refuse to forgive others.
    One of the most important things we can do for ourselves is to learn to forgive.
    Forgiveness is one of the hallmarks of Christianity; which is why so many people cannot accept Christ because they cannot forgive, not even themselves.

    Liked by 3 people

  9. Today, I find forgiving Jorge Bergoglio for refusing to answer the Dubia, especially before the deaths of two of the signers, Cardinals Caffarra and Meisner, and the demotion of Cardinal Burke, very much against the teachings of Jesus: Do unto others.

    I pray to know the will of Jesus in all things, and for the grace of maturity, humility, and forgiveness. I see a photo or hear the name Pope Francis and it is as though a knife goes through my heart. How can I possibly honor my Savior and forgive the heresy shown him? Didn’t He, after all, literally turn the tables on those who mocked His Father?

    Padre Pio said “Hypocrisy is the greatest evil of our time.”

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Anne:

      To forgive doesn’t mean we condone, or forget, or look the other way. Forgiveness also doesn’t mean reconciliation, i.e., to restore the relationship. We can forgive someone who has done us wrong WITHOUT reconciling or restoring the relationship because some relationships are so damaging and toxic, they should end. To forgive means we let go of the roiling, toxic emotions of anger, hatred and vengefulness — emotions that harm our own physical and mental health.

      I have not, do not, and will not look the other way when it comes to Jorge Bergoglio and other clerics’ misdeeds. But I can choose not to allow him/them to wield destructive power over me by giving in to hatred. Not doing so actually makes us more effective if we mean to correct and counter him and all those who are bent on destroying the Church. Our best weapon is truth.

      Like

      • Thank you, Dr. Eowyn, for your thoughtful, kind, and comforting response.

        Jorge Bergoglio is an enemy of humanity. No man who believes in God would begin to approach the willful and persistent destruction, the perversion, the violence, if you will, that he imposes upon the Catholic Church.

        Truth, and the Rosary, are our best weapons. Mr. Bergoglio mocks not only Jesus Christ, but the Holy Spirit. Right you are, that we can “choose not to allow him to wield destructive power over me by giving in to hatred.” I grieve, however, the damage he is willfully inflicting upon those who know no better than to, out of their human frailty, swallow his poison.

        We can only place this in God’s hands and trust for Jesus Christ to triumph over this hideous evil.

        Liked by 1 person

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