Let me tell you a story of my life.
I have a lot of girls who’ve made me the object of their hate. And in the many years that I’ve experienced that, I’ve reacted in ways I’ve not been proud of. You’re right, it’s a learning process. And I handled it better when I was 17 compared to when I was 14, but I still didn’t handle it very well at all.
Here’s where I tell you that I hope this time, in college, I will learn to give it up to God.
And here’s where I tell you the reason for their hate. This is from them telling me after years of strained relationship, where we finally agree to apologize to each other and put the past behind us. This is why:
“I don’t know”.
Maybe you think that this is just because it’s been too long, it’s the kind of thing like when you get into a fight with a sibling, and forget after a while what the fight was about. Let me tell you what some girls have told me before we rose up beyond that situation itself. Here’s their reason for hating:
“I don’t know”.
Is it possible to hate someone for no apparent reason? I’m not trying to say I’m perfect, God forbid that I even imply that. I’m not. I’m not perfect and let me tell you why.
Because I’ve hated too. I shall give two instances. And the former I shall not name, because I have never talked to this person about it before. It came and it went. She changed. And the jealousy went away.
Oops. So I’ve mentioned the word. Jealousy.
So let me tell you my story:
1) The first girl I was jealous of was very popular. People who didn’t know her wanted to, and they would go about trying to look for her. And because we were in close proximity for certain reasons I will not touch upon, people would mistake me for her. And here is what would go on: those who thought I was her would treat me with a sudden, special, almost superstar treatment. And when they realized I wasn’t her, they would then drop me (the image works in my head) and would start to run after the real thing. And I would be forgotten, a case of mistaken identity.
Note: I never admitted it even to myself that I was jealous of her for many years.
But I started to look for faults in her. Because I didn’t have a reason to dislike her. If I were asked at that point why I hated her, I would have responded the same way: I don’t know. But I did dislike her, and I needed to justify that. It was only years from then that I finally came to terms with it and asked the Lord for forgiveness.
2) The second girl in my story came about during my college years in Malaysia. After asking her for permission to relay this story to you, I shall mention her name here so that you may verify my story if you wish, but its purpose is also for me to be as honest as possible to you without being vague. Her name is Teo Shao Fern. She is wonderful at the violin, and composes beautiful music. She talks about her family all the time; about how she loves her family so, and how her family loves her. She is dedicated and disciplined in her work, and sincerely seeks after God. She’s looked upon with favor by God and men. Authorities in college would look upon her with favor. She’s a wonderful, wonderful individual that everyone should love, and find hard not to.
But I grew to be jealous of her.
The Lord was gracious to me, because we shared the same faith, it was easier for me to share with her my struggle. Imagine how awkward it was for me to confess to her “I’m jealous of you. But I don’t want to be. This is not God’s way. Please pray for me and with me about this.” I’m paraphrasing but that was the gist of our conversation. We prayed about it. And the Lord restored our friendship. Praise Him.
So how does everything I’ve said so far tie in with what I said in the beginning about trying to do it right this time in college?
Let me tell you how.
I need to get my perspective right.
And what is that perspective? That it ain’t about me. The times where I was jealous, was it ever about the girls I was jealous of? No, it never was about them. I merely made them my objects of envy because they were easy targets. It was my brokenness, my sinful nature that was showing itself in my thoughts and actions.
So if you’re standing on the receiving end of that envy, know that it ain’t about you. This is not (necessarily) a personal attack against you.
I need to remember where I stand.
I have that sinful nature too. I sinned against God and against those girls! And when I try to help you see that I don’t hate you, and do what God said “to pray for those who hate you” (Matthew 5:44) I need to remember
I am not holier than you.
And I hope it doesn’t look like I’m trying to be.
I am not “better” than you. I am a sinner, saved by grace. I am not any more deserving of that grace than anyone else. I’m still a victim and have the capacity to hate. But the grace that I received from my Savior, I extend to you. It is only by the grace of God that I love you. And am praying for you.
Please pray for me as well, pray against the fears that cripple me when I remember my past, pray against any seed of hatred that the devil tries to plant in my head or in my heart, and pray that the Lord be glorified above all.