April 22, Hatred

Today’s reading: Psalms 106-110

“May his days be few; may another take his place of leadership. May his children be fatherless and his wife a widow” - Psalm 109:8-9.

There is a human emotion often revealed in the psalms that is unpleasant to talk and think about, and that emotion is hatred. In today’s passage, David prayed about an enemy who had opposed him. David cried out to God to do bad things to that enemy. You may recoil at such talk, but there are important things to realize here. First, David did not take revenge; he entrusted that job to the Lord. Second, David was honest with the Lord and did not gloss over his feelings, telling God what he thought God would want to hear. Third, David recognized that there was evil in the world and he went to a good God to help him deal with and sort it out. Jesus taught about how to treat your enemies when He said: “You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you” (Matthew 5:43-44). Do you have any enemies about whom you need to talk to God? Are you masking your strong emotions, even hatred, because you don’t want to admit you have them? Lord, I admit that I am ambivalent at times about my emotional side. Help me to accept them as part of how You created me, and then help me harness them for Your service.