Hatred is consuming and awful; and unfortunately, I’m in the bogs of it. Well, not really the bogs, but more the outer rim. As much as I despise the word and the meaning, I really do hate someone. I am consumed with how much I dislike him, everything from what he says, to the way he speaks, and even his facial hair. This is a mess and quite honestly, absurd. So about a year ago, I decided since it wasn’t healthy for me to be around this person, I removed myself from his presence; and in this year or so, I’ve only seen him a handful of times. This works, mostly because I certainly don’t think about him if I don’t see him.
Well, today ended up being a test of my year long sabbatical. I’m really quite happy to say that when I saw him cockily pronounce something I didn’t agree with, I recognized that my response to that was mostly hate and anger. I dealt with it, then let it slide away. This happened a few times today, but all the times it happened, I let it slide away from me; instead of letting it stew and boil inside me like normal.
Jesus really knew what he was talking about when he talked of anger. This is why no matter your opinion on his deity, it’s hard not to believe that he’s not a wise, worthwhile teacher. Anger really makes your life miserable.
So, as I reflect on my growth and accomplishment, I’m thinking of Jesus and his opinion of anger and of friends who pointed out that I was not quite as free from anger as I would’ve liked to think and that anger always has a root cause that can be detangled. Slowly and gratefully, though, I am moving away from the cause of my anger, this harbored hatred.