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Monday, February 28, 2005

The Opposite of Love

The opposite of love is hate, right? I'm starting to wonder. My best friend got me thinking today with one of her favorite quotes from Martin Luther: "Love God? Sometimes I hate Him."

Me too.

I hate God when He brings things into my life that bring me to my knees in pain. My health, my marriage, the mirror of His Word that exposes my excuses and shines its light on my sin. I yell, I cry, I stomp my feet like a two year old, and I hate.

But after I've exhausted my emotional energy, and all I can do is sit, I hear His quiet voice say, "Come." And I do. I run right back into the arms of the one I said I hated. Why? Because "Though He slay me, yet will I trust in Him."

So maybe hate isn't the opposite of love. Maybe it's an emotion that reveals hurt, fear, anger, disappointment and at the same time love. I only get vulnerable and express intense emotions to a person I'm close to and trust. And only someone I love can hurt me to the point I that I release control of my emotions in an effort to stop the hurt.

Then I ponder what the Word says about love and obedience. "If you love me, you will obey what I command." (John 14:15) When I sin I chose myself before God. Is that hate?

Or is it indifference?

Isn't sin a total disregard of God, a choice to turn my back and walk my way instead of His way?

If so, then the opposite of love isn't hate. It's indifference.

I pray I never grow so cold that I cease to care. It would be easier though, hurt less. I'd like to live without the intense emotion of hate. But not if it means I feel nothing.

So I continue to long for a God that I both love with all I am and hate for all the pain He allows. But either way I still come.

Maybe one day I'll grow to the place where I don't shake my fist at heaven and I learn to accept His work in my life without such struggle. But until then, I chose not to hide my emotions and all their intensity.

God knows them anyway.

And He still extends His hand and says, "Come."


Jen said...

I totally agree. Intense emotion is so much better than indifference. I think it's interesting that the feeling of hate can have two effects. It can drive us to the cross, like it did with you and Job. Or it can turn us from God completely until God gives us over to what we want...self worship, like Pharoh. I praise God that He is faithful, even when I am not and that He will lose none that the Father has given Him. Because of His faithfulness, He will always turn me back to the cross. I may be stiff-necked at times. It might take a while.

But He has promised to finish in me what He started. For His glory, His fame, and His name.

Thanks for the post, Amy!


Sally Datria said...

ditto...couldn't have said it better myself!

Amy Wallace said...

You two are awesome! Thanks for encouraging my heart today.


my_Romancer said...

that's cool...I love that!!! It gives me freedom to do that :-D
freedom, i still want to learn how much and how great i have in Christ.
lov you,

Amy Wallace said...


You have freedom in Christ to be who you are. You are beautiful! And you are learning. We all are. Please remember, God knows you best and loves you most!!!

Love and prayers,

Glyco--d58072 said...
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