As we continue to head out into another year, I want to encourage you to learn to hate. I know it sounds a bit strange, but if you’re going to live a life of Love – you are going to need to know how to hate.
Several years ago, I got to see one of the greatest examples of this dynamic being played out in the jungles of Burma. I was with the Free Burma Rangers and we had just walked up on an enemy camp. This was not just any enemy camp, but the very enemy who had earlier murdered family members and burned the village of the group who was now reaching out in love.
When we showed up on the scene, we were well hidden but close enough to hear the enemy talking. I began to wonder what was going through this team’s mind as they were taking video and photos to document the illegal movement. I was amazed at how these young men just did their jobs and then left. After we had climbed back up the mountain and were far enough away to talk, we stopped. What happened next was the greatest act of love that I have ever witnessed.
They all got on their knees and we prayed. They prayed two things:
- First, that God would bless their enemies in such a way they would know God’s love for them and that their hearts would be healed from hate.
- Second, that God would give us the wisdom to stop them from doing more evil.
They hated the works of the devil being done through men who were created in the image of the God – who is love. They hated the death and destruction that happens when men let greed and hate run their lives. They hated what was done to their families. But amazingly – they loved the enemy so much that they prayed that they would have an encounter with God so their hearts could be healed.
As far as I know not one of the enemies turned to Jesus, but I also know that thousands of displaced people throughout the jungles of Burma learned the power of loving what God loves and hating what He hates. As a result, I watched these oppressed people go through their lives with hope and joy, free from the bondage of what evil men do.
As you continue to move into this New Year – I encourage you to pray this same way and let your hate be turned towards the works of the devil. Recognize what you hate and make sure there is not a person included in that hate. And don’t ever forget the very words of Jesus as He hung on a cross for you and looked out over those who had tortured Him and said, “Father, forgive them for they know not what they are doing.”
May 2018 be a year of hope and joy for you and your family…