“And when you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive them, so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your sins.”Mark 11:25(NIV)
So I wore camouflage pants. One of the things I thought I would never do. I have strong feelings about using camouflage outside of the woods. Or so I thought anyway. My style is girly, to say the least, but I’ve been seeing these ladies rocking these camo pants with cute tops and heels.
So I decided I’d give it a go. The whole morning while getting ready all I was thinking about was the people who were going to make fun of me for trying something new. I wasn’t thinking about my husband who had told me about twelve times that morning how good I looked. I didn’t think about my friends who would compliment a new outfit. I didn’t even think about if I liked it or not- I was getting dressed for my haters.
I was giving all my focus and energy thinking about the people who were going to “hate on it.” You know what I mean- you probably have a few haters of your own. The people in your life that are going to find something wrong with anything you do.
Once I realized what I was doing, my first thought was, “forget the haters.”
But instantly, God whispered to my heart, “Please, don’t.”
Don’t what? Don’t forget the haters? Don’t wear the pants?! What did God mean?
Then He showed me a beautiful revelation. I started thinking about why people “hate” on others. Most of time it’s fueled by jealousy. You are strong in an area they feel weakest in. Another reason is they’re hurting. You’ve heard the saying, “Hurting people hurt people.”
They could have been hurt by someone else and it has tainted their perspective of me. Or worse, what if I was the person who hurt them? What if I offended them, either directly or indirectly. What if they were hating on me, because I hurt them?
No one wants to believe they are the villain in someone else’s story. But it’s naive to think we’re nobody’s bad guy. In fact, chances are, you are someone else’s hater. I know, it’s an ugly truth we like to turn away from. I definitely didn’t want to admit I had people that I was hyper harsh on. But truth is, I do.
Whether it be because they offended me, or intimidate me, or sometimes we are harsh on people because of assumptions we make about them or things we’ve heard that might not even be true.
The more I realized I’m guilty of being a hater- I saw that I wasn’t ever trying to actually hate on anyone. I was actually just hurting and hiding.
Haters aren’t actually hating- they’re hurting. And they don’t need to be forgotten. They need to be forgiven.Tweet
So instead of “forgetting my haters”, God was asking me to forgive the hurting. And with that revelation came a rush of grace for the people around me. I wanted to make them feel important. I wanted to let them know I was on their side. I wanted them to know I was for them, not against them.
My perception of people shifted that morning and then suddenly, I wasn’t so worried about my camouflage pants anymore. 😉