A year or so ago, while driving from one fishing hole to another, I saw a house that caught my eye. It wasn’t a big or grand house. It wasn’t a falling down shack. In fact, I never would have noticed if it weren’t for one feature that I wasn’t expecting to see.
The garage doors were adorned with giant swastikas and then there were Nazi flags hanging on the front of the house.
I’ve never actually seen these symbols displayed on a home before then. These are the things I see spray-painted on a house hastily by vandals or tattooed on a guest of the Jerry Springer show. They seldom invade my world.
We drove past this house several times over the few days we spent fishing in the area. I never saw who lived inside but I developed very strong opinions about what kind of people they were. It is easy to judge someone that flies a hate flag in front of their home.
On the drive home from that fishing trip, the house with the hate flags wouldn’t get out of my head. My opinions and thoughts went from mere judgment to emotions. I started to go beyond feelings of disgust and sadness to the beginnings of a real healthy amount of hate. I began to think of ways that the flier of hate flags could be brought down. I wanted to take a stand. I wanted to fly my own hate flag in their face.
1 John 3:15 Anyone who hates another brother or sister is really a murderer at heart. And you know that murderers don’t have eternal life within them.
Christ loves the haters and gave his life to redeem them from a world of hate. When I hate them, I reject part of what Christ did on the cross. I can’t fly a flag of hate and pronounce myself any better than anyone else and claim to be remotely Christlike. When I hate the hater, I become what they are.
It is a hard world to live in today. It seems like we are required to draw lines and hate someone because they are black or because they are not black, because they are men or because they are women, because they are donkeys or elephants. There are hate flags flying all over the place and the world has some sort of notion that if everyone starts flying the same hate flag, the world will be all better.
No ideology, philosophy, moral code, political point of view or education can fix this broken world. Only the blood of Jesus Christ that can cover our hate can bring us back to where we were created to live, in a world centered around God and not ourselves.
Proverbs 10:12 Hatred stirs up quarrels, but love makes up for all offenses.
I can’t make others love by judging them in their sin. God makes known to men the sin that is in their lives. I can only cause others to love by loving them, often in ways they do not deserve, just as God loves me when I don’t deserve it.