by Pastor Greg Laurie
Destruction in Disguise
"Don't just pretend that you love others. Really love them. Hate what is wrong. Stand on the side of the good." (Romans 12:9)
One of the first things I remember taking place when I committed my life to Jesus Christ was the erosion of bitterness and anger and the growth of a love I had not known before. Years of bitterness and anger that had been building up just began to dissolve. If we claim to be followers of Christ and harbor bitterness or hatred in our hearts toward someone, there is something very wrong. John was very distinct when he wrote, "If someone says, 'I love God,' but hates a Christian brother or sister, that person is a liar; for if we don't love people we can see, how can we love God, whom we have not seen?" (1 John 4:20). John was saying, that if we have hatred in our hearts toward fellow members of the body of Christ, fellow Christians, there is something wrong in our spiritual lives.
Maybe someone has wronged or hurt you. Yet you are to love. You are to forgive. You are not to avenge yourself. Here is why: that bitterness and hatred will do more harm to you than the person to whom you are directing it. It will eat you up inside. It will destroy your life. It will hinder your time of prayer with God. It will hinder your worship. It will, for all practical purposes, act as an obstacle in the relationship God wants to have with you.
There is no room for hatred in the heart of a child of God. There is no room for bitterness. There is no room for prejudice. God wants our love to be honest, and He wants it to be without hypocrisy.
Copyright (c) 2003 by Harvest Ministries. All rights reserved. Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright (c) 1996. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Wheaton, Illinois 60189. All rights reserved.