I John 2:9-11 If anyone says, "I am living in the light,"but hates a Christian brother or sister, that person is still living in darkness. Anyone who loves other Christians is living in the light and does not cause anyone to stumble. Anyone who hates a Christian brother or sister is living and walking in darkness. Such a person is lost, having been blinded by the darkness.
It matters what we think about others, what we feel towards them. Some people hurt us and sometimes very deeply. It may be physical, emotional, or mental. However it may be, we sometimes get hurt and it may alter our lives completely. For some, the damage is so severe that life becomes very difficult and it affects our ability to live in victory in Christ.
Yet, John tells us that we must love and not hate those who hurt us. It is not impossible to love those who hurt us, otherwise God would not have instructed John to write it. Our biggest hurdle to move from hate to love is our will. We do not want to change. We like to live with an attitude of hate because it somehow makes us feel in the right. We have been wronged and the other party is guilty. We want to take matters into our own hands and see that justice is served. We want revenge. Therefore, we savor our feelings and resist the need to change. However, if we are to be right with God we have no choice, we must move from hatred to love. The question is, "How is that possible?"
God is love. The only way we can love those who hurt us is for us to immerse ourselves in God. We must determine in our hearts that we need God. We must know that it is impossible for us to change apart from a deeply rooted connection with God. We must seek God. We must enter into His presence as often as possible. We must consistently draw near to God until we know that our heart changes. We must first experience the love of God for ourselves before we can love those who hurt us. There is no other way to move from a hate-filled heart to a love-filled heart.
A true child of God does not linger in the darkness of hatred. In fact, he is incapable of living in hatred. God is love and when God is in us, we become vessels of love. As long as darkness envelopes the soul, God is not there. God is light and love and where He is they fill up His dwelling place.
Dear friend, if you are struggling to forgive and love someone today in your past or present, spend all the time you need in the presence of God. Do not shortchange yourself. Wait on the Lord and He will change you. He will fill you with a heart of love. Pray about this until you pray through.