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SPEAKING THE TRUTH: Overcoming hate


This is an often-used word in our culture.

Hate speech. Acts of hate. Hate crimes.

Why do people hate? Sometimes it is aimed at others who are not like them and those who do not conform to their set of beliefs, values or convictions.  They are not part of their political party, their religion, or maybe they are a different race or speak a different language.

There is something within us as humans that seems to stiffen up or flat out reject those who are not like us.

As a result, because of hate, there are always people in society that are rejected, condemned or seemingly pushed to the side.

There was a time when Jesus was teaching people in the temple, and in walked a group of religious leaders immediately gathering the attention of the crowd. They interrupted Jesus’ teaching by heartlessly dragging some unnamed woman with them, and presented her before Him.

Then in a further act of public humiliation, they stated that she had been caught having an affair with a married man. Then they asked Jesus what should be done with her, fully knowing what their laws require.

They did not care about the woman. She was just a tool being used to challenge Jesus so they could find something to arrest Him for.    

After Jesus dealt with the men and they left, He stood there before the quiet and humiliated woman with the crowd watching.  He softly spoke to her these words before she left and went back home, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?” She said, “No one, Lord.” And Jesus said, “Neither do I condemn you; go, and from now on sin no more.” (John 8:10-11)

The religious leaders treated the woman with hate.

Why? Because she was a woman and disobeyed God’s law on adultery.  They were selective in their hate though. The man she was having an affair with, was let off by the leaders.

And there were many other laws of God they could have picked, maybe even ones they violated. There is never a sense of integrity with hate. By nature, it is always hypocritical and corrupt.

They also hated Jesus. That is why they brought the woman to Him. They hated Him because He did not follow their man-made religious traditions and challenged their beliefs and behavior with the truth. He did not conform to their ways.

What can overcome the cruel hate the religious leaders shamelessly showed?  Can it be defeated or is our only option to bow before it and allow it to enslave us?    

Praise God, hate can be overcome. It can be rid from our hearts, along with its companions – bitterness, anger and unforgiveness. The chains of hate that others have tried to bound us with, can be snapped off and laid powerless at our feet.

How so?

Through the cross of Jesus Christ.       

Hate in the hearts of evil men put Him on the cross and killed Him. Yet, three days later Jesus rose from the dead overcoming the hate of others. On that day, good triumphed over evil!

Because of Jesus, hate can be defeated.

Not by human methods though. For hate comes from a heart controlled by the curse of sin, and it is a spiritual battle to transform that heart into one of love.

Why was Jesus not controlled by the hate of others or return hate for the evil spewed upon Him? Because His heart was pure. He heard His opponents’ evil words with a heart of peace and spoke the truth to them with a heart of purity.

Do not let words of hate fall from your lips anymore, and let the days be gone when someone else’s words of hate control you. In Christ is cleansing and freedom. Let Him give you a clean heart and life of freedom through the power of His indwelling Spirit.        

A prayer for you:

“Lord God, as Christ overcame His hate-filled adversaries, let us overcome it too. We admit our sinful hearts and call upon you to cleanse us and fill us with your very presence, and all that you are. In Jesus’ name.  Amen.”

Clint Decker is President of Great Awakenings. Please share your comment with Clint at and follow his blog at

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