Today’s world is full of stories that stem from one person’s hatred for another. It could be their nationality, religious choices, sexual preferences, even the way a person voted that can trigger another person to hate. Why??

We may know in our heads that we are to be rational, thoughtful, respectful human beings, but one small thing can set us off on a rant that burns through our social network news feed. Why??

We pass someone on the street, in the mall, on the sidewalk in our town, and this person looks different than we do. We pass judgment on them and feel a little more self-righteous. We are after all, better than that person aren’t we? Why?? Why do we think we can behave that way? We may not act on it, but we thought it.

Hate comes wrapped up in many disguises, but it is still hate. Jesus spoke clearly about hate during a teaching moment in Matthew 5:21-24;
“You have heard that it was said to our ancestors, Do not murder, and whoever murders will be subject to judgment. But I tell you, everyone who is angry with his brother will be subject to judgment. And whoever says to his brother, ‘Fool!’ will be subject to the Sanhedrin. But whoever says, ‘You moron!’ will be subject to hellfire. So if you are offering your gift on the altar, and there you remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled with your brother, and then come and offer your gift. (HCSB)

In other words, it’s not the act of murder that is the only thing against the law, it is the feeling in the heart that was acted upon. Jesus redefined the Law of Moses by saying it’s more than actions, it’s the emotions that started it.

I grew up without a concept of color. My friends were my friends, no clarification of skin color or race, just friends. This sort of view helped me parent our sons to do the same. Skin color has no bearing on whether a person is a friend or not. But it doesn’t stop there– we accept and love people because they are people, made in the image of a God, created for His purposes and plan. I am well aware though, that not everyone had the same upbringing.

As a child my mom and I would watch many classic movies, but one of our top five favorites was South Pacific. A wonderful musical, powerful in its story telling, set in the South Pacific during World War II. A young officer falls for an island girl and laments what life would be like if he brought her home to meet his family. The words to his lament are haunting, challenging and all too true.

You’ve Got to be Carefully Taught

You’ve got to be taught
To hate and fear,
You’ve got to be taught
From year to year,
It’s got to be drummed
In your dear little ear
You’ve got to be carefully taught.

You’ve got to be taught to be afraid
Of people whose eyes are oddly made,
And people whose skin is a diff’rent shade,
You’ve got to be carefully taught.

You’ve got to be taught before it’s too late,
Before you are six or seven or eight,
To hate all the people your relatives hate,
You’ve got to be carefully taught!

“You’ve Got to Be Carefully Taught”, 1949 Rodgers and Hammerstein, South Pacific.

Why?? Why do we choose to teach hate and not compassion? Why do we choose to teach fear instead of faith and courage?

I think of all the of the young men and women, as well as old, who have stood up in the face of hate to say, “There is a different way.” Paul described love in 1 Corinthians 12:31 as “the most excellent way” (NIV).

It is the most excellent way, it is a way I want to teach my sons, nieces, nephews, and eventually grandchildren, if God so blesses me.

I am a teacher, I need to know my subject. It is an excellent subject. What are you teaching? If you don’t like the “curriculum” find a different one, the excellent one.


About gretchenr17

Wife, mother, daughter, sister, friend. Writer, farmer, fellow sojourner... at every turn I learn a bit more about God's wild mercies.
This entry was posted in growing pains, reflections, Walking by Faith and not by sight and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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