“I can’t afford to hate anyone, I don’t have that kind of time.” – Akira Kurosawa
For someone who struggles with anxiety and depression, it has been increasingly hard for me to scroll through the newsfeed on social media with recent political events. Hate fills the words on the screen, flowing from liberal and conservative alike. Say what you will, but tolerance and coexistence does not exist in a world that pretends to be open minded.
Something that has made me even more sick in my soul has been watching so-called “leaders” and influencers bashing one another, one-upping each other with their opinions and name calling. It’s disgusting, often leaving me wondering how they ever got their influence to begin with.
Let’s get real for a minute: when someone offends us, the evil within us wants to watch them burn.
I love the DC Comics show “Arrow” on Netflix. If you’ve seen the show, you know how Oliver Queen (aka – “The Green Arrow”) spends the entire first season pursuing revenge. Hate fills his heart and he is consumed with bringing what he considers to be “justice” to those who wronged him and his family.
I feel like Oliver Queen more than I do Jesus. As Jesus was being crucified, he forgave the very people surrounding him who nailed him to the cross to begin with! I’m not Jesus…When someone offends me, I want revenge. In fact, I even plot revenge in my heart, contemplating harsh replies and demeaning arguments that I can spit their way in our next confrontation. Instead of arrows, words are my weapon of choice.
Just like Oliver Queen, we have bought the lie that justice comes with revenge. What we fail to realize is that we are destroying ourselves in the process. True healing comes in forgiveness and redemption.
“Make a clean break with all cutting, backbiting, profane talk. Be gentle with one another, sensitive. Forgive one another as quickly and thoroughly as God in Christ forgave you.” – Ephesians 4:31-32
What if we began serving our enemies a cool glass of water – grace – rather than watching them burn in our hatred and rage?
Despite the hurt someone has caused in your life, why would you bring any further damage upon yourself?
As the phrase goes, “When you play with fire, you get burned.”
If you choose to watch others burn, you will in turn catch fire.
Choose forgiveness. Choose healing. Hatred is too great a burden to bear.