There are always going to be “haters!” I would define a “hater” as someone who hates and finds fault when most of the time they don’t have all the facts. Shockingly sometimes they do, however, the facts are so against what a “hater” wants to believe that they hate anyway. LOL.
Do you know people like this? Often now we use a little analogy in our house to describe irrational people. It is a mental picture of a highway with a double yellow line. On the left side is where the irrational people live and on the right side you find the rational people. When we run into a “hater” who is going to hate, no matter the facts, we simply say to ourselves, “Stay on your side of the road.” In other words, don’t cross the “double yellow line” by trying to be rational with the irrational…don’t tango with haters!
Recently, while in Israel, we climbed to the top of Mt. Arbel. It was simply beautiful. On our climb up we could look down in the valley and see caves all along the way and when we reached the top we could see much of the Sea of Galilee. To my right was a grassy meadow. While at the top our group took some time to study the book of John. From that vantage point you come to realize the place to our right was more than likely where Jesus fed the 5,000. As we studied John chapter 6, it unpacked our surroundings and I could look to my left and to my right and “SEE” the Bible change from black and white to color.
I have read and studied the whole book of John for many days. I want to encourage you with this story today.
After Jesus fed the 5000, the disciples went down the mountain (I could see from where I was sitting) to the Sea of Galilee at dark and started rowing about 4 miles. The text tells us that the people “knew” the disciples left alone. John 6:22, “The next day the crowd that had stayed on the opposite shore of the lake REALIZED that only one boat had been there, and that Jesus had NOT entered with the disciples, but that they had gone alone.” From reading this story we KNOW that Jesus “walked on water” to get to the disciples. Later Jesus was asked by the people in John 6:25, “When they found him on the other side of the lake, they asked him, Rabbi, when did you get here?””
If you read all of John, especially chapters 5 and 6, you know that Jesus had been performing miracles, healing and feeding the 5,000. Sitting from my vantage point recently and personally reading these chapters, I can tell you these people knew miracles were going on. They were eyewitnesses to the facts. Things that they couldn’t humanly understand and because they couldn’t understand, even when they SAW THEM and experienced them, what did they do? They became “haters” when Jesus avoided telling them how He got to the other side of the lake. He, instead, began telling them what was in their hearts, sincerely teaching them what was really important. “The work of God is this; to believe in the one he has sent.” The Jews had witnessed miracles but they chose to become haters. John 6:41, “At this the Jews there began to grumble about him because he said, I am the bread that came down from heaven.””
So often when we don’t understand what is going on, maybe we don’t have all the facts, maybe the way people are doing things aren’t the way we enjoy or prefer, it is tempting to “hate”. Becoming a “hater” can be easy for anyone to do, especially when we don’t have all the facts or our limited understanding “skews” our opinion. I especially get fired up when Christians are the “haters”. It appalls me when another church is on fire, and someone feels the need to criticize and hate. When I say on “fire,” I define it to mean people are going and receiving Christ and then I see the evidence of fruit in their lives.
How in the world can you hate on that?????? Most people hate because they don’t know. They think they know but they don’t. If we are Jesus lovers and Bible readers, why would we hate another Bible teaching church????? Or speak negatively???? As for pastors and people in ministry, God holds them to a higher standard. A long time ago I stopped “enthroning” any man/woman, no matter their position. After all, they are just like me, a dirty sinner saved by “grace”. I drop my hands when it comes to judging them. That is God’s job, not mine.
God has given me a Bible, a brain, eyes and ears and His expectation is for me to use them. He has not appointed me to be a “hater!” I can say I have been guilty of this in the past. I have been challenged to use my brain, my Bible, my eyes, and my ears. Through this challenge God has vividly shown me my heart on being a past “hater” of some things. Not anymore.
I have come to realize that most of the time my “hate” was “ignorance” on my part. Not knowing the accurate facts but relying on “hear say” or “gossip” or things being taken out of context.
It isn’t just about churches. It’s about the slippery slope of becoming a “hater”. If you don’t know someone, if you don’t have all the facts, should you hate? Everyone is entitled to their opinion but maybe, just maybe if it is a “hateful” one, you should keep it to yourself…
…and place it at the feet of Jesus.
He is the only one who can “sort the facts” and knows the heart.
“The prudent keep their knowledge to themselves, but a fool’s heart blurts out folly” (Proverbs 12:23).