I never thought of myself as a hater. Now I am not so sure.
There is a “feelings scale” in my head that has been there since I was a kid. It stemmed from those ridiculous fourth and fifth grade conversations when a girl would send out her pawn to find out a boy’s feelings. “A.J.? Becky likes you a lot. Do you like her?”
“I don’t know.” I would mumble, “I guess.”
“Do you like her a lot or a little?”
“I don’t know.”
“Do you love her?” The Queen’s pawn would ask.
Then, during the next class, Becky would pass me a note written in eleven different colors of ink proclaiming that she loves, loves, loves, loves, loves… me. I would spend three whole dollars on a ring that wouldn’t fit her and we would become boyfriend and girlfriend which meant absolutely nothing because we never saw each other outside of school and at school we were too scared to actually speak to each other. There were a lot of notes passed, though.
I believe that is where my scale came from. “Don’t care” was in the middle, then on the positive side it went from “like a little”, up to “like”, up to “like a lot”, up to “love”, on the other end it would go from “dislike a little”, to”dislike”, to “dislike a lot”, to “hate”. Simple as that was, they felt the need to draw it up for me once or twice so I didn’t have to think too hard, all I had to do was circle the appropriate depth of feeling on the scale to declare my “love”–or declare my “like a little”. Anyway, that “feelings scale” has remained in my head ever since.
Now, though there are some people I have disliked a lot, I don’t feel like I have ever hated anyone in my life. Lately I have been thinking, though, God might not use my scale. What do you think?
Did you know that it appears the words “like” or “dislike” are not in the Bible, not to describe someone’s fondness for someone or something anyway? It does use the word to say this is “like” that, or some way of thinking is “like” this. It never says Jesus liked Peter, or John liked flowers, or Paul liked to read. Only love is used, or hate.
By my scale, even though I like a lot of people from a little to a lot, the people I can put on my love list make up a pretty small percentage of all the people I know. Now, if I am right, and God does not use my grade school “feelings scale”, it appears He may consider everything that isn’t love hate? If this is true, I AM a hater.
“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” John 13:34-35
Love or hate–with no in between–is a monster change of mindset for me.
“As I have loved you…” That sets the bar sky high. I am gonna need a boost… or maybe a rocket.