Well, it has been a year since we engaged in the ‘I hate my father’ blog. Many of us read and sent comments. I am hopeful that in many ways, we are making good progress in this matter. It is Father’s week again. I do not know how well you have grown in this matter, but I pray that the statement is changing from ‘I hate my father’ to ‘I stopped hating my father’.
It has been a fantastic journey for me in this regard. Now I am a father as well. I have made many mistakes along the way. From last year’s stories let me share the difference that the Lord has made in me. To spur you on to love and forgiveness, please consider the following lessons from a son and a father.
The Reality of Hatred
“Hate destroys the very structure of the personality of the hater…. when you start hating anybody; it destroys the very centre of your creative response to life and the universe; so love everybody.” Martin Luther King, Jr.
How profound from a man who fought for the equality of people in America. And Luther was a preacher as well; therefore, this statement resounds with depth. After years of fighting against my heart, God started to show me that I was the only one suffering from within in this war. My Father’s life was progressing well. But mine was hindered. I was not becoming any wiser, and I was not becoming loving to those around me.
Instead of expressing the heart of love that our Lord showed us (John 3:16), I was full of bile and acid.
There was no Jesus within or without me. I also realized that the levels of happiness and joy within me dwindled much. My capacity to be genuine as God expects of me (Romans 12:10) was even waning. I realized that hatred made me an angry man. I am still working on the effects of this consequence. It mattered that my dad wronged me. It mattered more what I did in response to this action. I chose the wrong answer- hate. I reaped the rotten fruits- resentment and pain. My conclusion was; hatred messes the hater more than it does the hated. Your dad is probably just fine even as you hate him. You, however, are burning and being destroyed. It is time for you to stop the hate game. Hate is like committing suicide, stop committing suicide.
The Reality of my failures in life
Several years later, after an experience of bile and hatred, I became a father as well. In all honesty, I have not been the best dad as per standards of men and of God either! I have made unthinkable mistakes, and here I was, hating on another. I thought I will be the super dad the world has ever known. It is like I had forgotten the truth in Romans 3:10, “None is righteous, no, not one; no one understands; no one seeks God.”
I was still doing life with the 2 Corinthians 5:16 mentality- looking at people from the fleshly perspective. Maybe you are not a father now (good for you; you get to learn) but you are human. You are aware of your stinginess, and anger, sexual failures, and meanness, and greed and abuses of many kinds. You know just how you get out of control and break promises. The sin within you is beyond our comprehension. The reality we want to run away from when we hate on our fathers is the fact that we also have made mistakes.
We may say that we have never done anything against our fathers to warrant their ill-treatment. Jesus never sinned (Hebrews 4:15), yet he died, what about you? When we unleash hatred against our fathers for mistakes they have done, it is like being the first one to cast a stone at the woman caught in adultery (John 8:7). You may not have done as much as your Father, but to how many boys/ girls have you lied? To how many have you shown contempt and mistreatment? May I ask how many have you broken hearts or disappointed? Are you deserving? Am I deserving? We are all guilty in many other ways. We are equally wanting!
The Reality of unconditional love
Eph 2:1,4, “And you were dead in the trespasses and sins; But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us; even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace, you have been saved.” Technically and most practically, none of us deserves to be born again. Unless God graciously in reached out to us in our unworthy state, we all would be destined to hell (Eph.2:3). We were dead, but God raised us into a new life. He came and forgave us and took away our sins (1 John 3:5, Colossians 2:13, 1 Peter 3:18). If it were not for that work, we all would have died forever.
Today, I spent part of the day with my Father as he was assisting me with some electrical challenges I had. This kind of thing would never have happened a few years ago. My heart is learning freedom, and it is as fresh as a new note currency from the bank. The Sunday that marked fathers day, I cycled and just passed by to say hello. It would never have happened a few years back. I stopped hating and started to learn to love my Father when I realized how much Jesus has never stopped loving me unconditionally. Has God done anything spectacular in your life? If he were to respond in regards to our actions, then we all would be in hell tonight. If there is no other reason, reach out for the sake of the love of Christ. The love that has keeps you within the margins and safety of the presence of the Father.
There is no error that is beyond the sanctifying work of Christ in our lives. When we become humble and ready to learn, then we get to know the freedom in loving and the bondage of hating. James 2:8, “If you really fulfil the royal law according to the Scripture, “You shall love your neighbour as yourself,” you are doing well.”