Day 21 – HATRED AND SELFISHNESS
THE ETERNAL SACRED ORDER OF THE CHERUBIM AND SERAPHIM
TOPIC: HATRED AND SELFISHNESS
TEXT: MATTHEW 5:43-48
HATRED: Hatred describes a very strong feeling of dislike for a particular person or thing. Although hatred is used to describe a very strong feeling of dislike for a particular person or thing, it is not an altogether condemnable feeling. This is because GOD Himself tells us about six (6) things that He hates (Prov 6:16). Therefore, the acceptability or otherwise of hatred is determined by the object, subject, or thing hated. Hence the bible speaks of things to hate but commands us not to hate our fellow human being, but rather to love them. Not all aspects of hatred are sinful. The Bible tells us that God hates evil (Proverbs 6:16-19) and evil people (Psalm 5:5). The Bible also has expressions such as “Jacob have I loved; Esau I have hated” (Malachi 1:2-3). This means that God elected Jacob and not Esau to be the father of the chosen Jewish race. In similar fashion, Jesus challenged the people who wanted to follow Him to hate their lives and earthly relationships if they want to be His followers (Luke 14:26). This means that they must choose Jesus above all else.
THINGS TO HATE
Vain thoughts (Ps 119:13); every false way ( Ps 119:104,128); lying (Ps 119:163); evil ( Ps 97:10, Prov 8:13, Amos 5:10); a proud look (Prov 6:17); a lying tongue ( Prov 6:16); Hands that shed innocent blood (Prov 6:17); Heart that plans wicked imagination (Prov 6:18); feet that are swift in running to mischief (Prov 6:18); a false witness (Prov 6:19) iniquity (Heb 1:9); one who sows discord among brethren (Prov 6:19);
In other words, the bible is telling us not to do any of the things listed above. Understand that the divine command that we should not hate our enemies but should rather love them entails our doing good to them when it is in our power to do so, and also to pray for them, but does not mean our exposing ourselves to them without due discretion. This is because as long as they still consider us as their enemies, there is still the possibility of their harming us if we do not apply wisdom in our dealings with them.
Jesus Himself tells us that He is sending us therefore as sheep in the midst of wolves exhorting us therefore to be as wise as serpents and as harmless as doves. By this Jesus reminds us that there are many wolves around who will want to harm us if they get the chance. So He used serpents and doves to direct us on how to conduct ourselves among them. Considering the nature of serpents and doves, we find that serpents never unduly expose themselves to attack and doves never provoke enmity. There is also an act of hatred which parents commit against their children without knowing it. This is the failure to discipline their children in the name of love. But the bible says that he that spareth his rod hateth his son but he that loveth him chasteneth him (Prov 13:24). This is because foolishness is bound in the heart of a child; but the rod of correction shall drive it far from him (Prov 22:15)
HATRED FOR MAN AND SIN EXEMPLIFIED
Haman, of Modecai – Esther 5:9; The Rechabites – Jer 35:1-end; Joseph: 39:7-9; Jonah of Nineveh: Jonah 4:2-3
SELFISHNESS: Selfishness is that attitude of caring about your well being and not that of others also. A selfish person wants to have his way at all times without considering how it affects others. A selfish person is unwilling to suffer some inconveniences so that another person or persons might enjoy some measure of comfort. Jesus is the most unselfish person that ever lived and He is an example. He sacrificed His comfort in heaven and suffered so many things that we might be delivered from destruction (Is 53:3-10).
Selfishness separates us from God and from others. For a government or a society to endure, it needs wise, informed leaders-and these are hard to find. Each person’s selfishness quickly affects others. A selfish employee who steals from his company ruins its productivity. A selfish driver who drinks before taking the wheel makes the roads unsafe. A selfish spouse who has an adulterous affair often breaks up two families.
When enough people live for themselves with little concern for how their actions affect others, the resulting moral rot contaminates the entire nation. Are you part of the problem… or the solution? Selfishness is ultimately self-destructive (James 4:1-10); it is the divisive force threatening every relationship, the weakness allowing healthy pursuits to become destructive obsessions, and the dark force behind all sin. It is not anger, pride, hatred, or malice-although it can be found in all four. From Adam and Eve, who ate of the forbidden tree because they desired knowledge reserved only for God, to Judas, who betrayed his Lord for thirty pieces of silver, the Bible warns of the seductive power of selfishness. On the other hand, selflessness honours others, meets the needs of others, prioritizes peace over selfish ambition in resolving conflicts – (Gal 6:2, 1 Cor 10:24, Acts 4:32-37, Gen 13:8-9).
Haman: Est 6:6;
The Bible forbids people to hate others (Lev 19:17-18) because it leads to sin. Indeed, hatred itself is considered murder (1 John 3:15). We are called upon to let God avenge all wrongs (Prov 20:22), and we are commanded by Jesus to love our enemies (by applying wisdom as stated above) – (Mat 5:43-44). We should also show our love for GOD by hating evil (Psalm 97:10). Are you drifting into a love for sinful things? This may be an indicator of a declining love for God.
At the same time, many people spend all their energy seeking pleasure. Jesus said, however, that a world of pleasure centered on possessions, position, or power is ultimately worthless. Whatever you have on earth is only temporary; it cannot be exchanged for your soul. If you work hard at getting what you want, you might eventually have a “pleasurable” life, but in the end you will find it hollow and empty. Are you willing to make the pursuit of God more important than the selfish pursuit of pleasure? Follow Jesus, and you will know what it means to live abundantly now and to have eternal life as well.