We all have that one person in our lives that just seems to harbor immense hatred towards us. Each and every time you interact with this person, you feel their anger seething behind their smiling face. The reasons for their animosity may be apparent to all parties, or you may be dumbfounded by the other person’s hostility.
The fact of the matter is, how you react towards this person says more about you than it does about them. In fact in His famous Sermon on the Mount, Jesus spoke directly about dealing with those who hate you. “But I say to you who hear, love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, 28 bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you.” (Luke 6:27-28)
This is a hard statement to swallow, but what comes next is even harder.
“Whoever hits you on the cheek, offer him the other also; and whoever takes away your coat, do not withhold your shirt from him either. Give to everyone who asks of you, and whoever takes away what is yours, do not demand it back. Treat others the same way you want them to treat you.” (Luke 6:29-31)
When dealing with someone who hates us, human nature implores us to lash out at the person and repay their hatred with more hatred. This goes directly against what Jesus teaches in Luke and further explains through the Apostle Peter, “Do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult. On the contrary, repay evil with blessing, because to this you were called so that you may inherit a blessing.” (1 Peter 3:9)
So how do we deal with a difficult person? We forgive and we love them despite their harsh words and actions taken towards us. It isn’t ever easy, but showing love to someone who doesn’t deserve it demonstrates the same forgiveness and love Jesus shows us every single day.
“Hatred stirs up strife, But love covers all transgressions.” (Proverbs 10:12)