But beware of men: for they will deliver you up to the councils, and they will whip you in their synagogues.
- Matthew 10:17
You can't experience that glow up if you don’t stop hating. Yes. I said it. Hateration (unforgiveness, bitterness, envy, and jealousy) is trying to rob your blessing. The well-intended feedback laced in jealousy. The criticism rooted in rejection. The judgments built on a mountain of assumptions. It’s usually from religious behind church folk — that’s who Jesus is referring to in the scripture. He uses the word synagogue but is really speaking about anyone who gets more entangled with dogma than they do with his true message: Love God, love people. Leave judgment to the Lord (the Bible is full of allegory).
It has taken quite a journey for me to come to this level of understanding in my faith. Growing up African in a major urban area, my siblings and I were the targets of many bullies, many jokes, and sometimes physical attacks, simply because we were African with dark skin. If it wasn't that, we were fighting people off from calling our youngest brother, who had autism, a crack baby. And if it wasn't that...my father was disowning us for choosing Christ instead of Islam. So let's just say, I have lived through my fair share of hate -- which has left me well prepared and unflinching in the face of opposition, but also intolerant of hateration.
My personal experiences have taught me that if I truly desire to follow and live like Christ, then persecution (people hating on you for NO good reason), comes with the territory. Even the bible teaches us that the children of God should be ready to face more contempt than usual in Isaiah 61:7:
Because you got a double dose of trouble and more than your share of contempt, Your inheritance in the land will be doubled and your joy go on forever. - Isaiah 61:7-11
In my 36 years on God's green earth, I've had more than my fair share of contempt, so this year, I am looking forward to my doubled inheritance and joy. In the past year, God has blessed me with open doors in quite a few women empowerment spaces. The women empowerment realm is tricky. There are a lot of women who claim to want to empower women but are really just matriarch Jezebels in sheep clothing. Women who thrive on being surrounded by those who are less gifted and less capable than they are because it gives them a sense of superiority and purpose. Life is great and dandy for these folks until they run into an Alpha Woman. By my definition, the Alpha Woman is the woman who seems to be blessed with whatever they set their mind to. No matter the difficulty and the challenge, they just keep rising to the top. The glory of God is evident in their lives in EVERY season. This blessing becomes a double-edged sword, as the bible teaches us that those who leave everything behind to love the Lord will not only inherit blessings but also persecution:
'And Jesus answered and said, Verily I say unto you, There is no man that hath left house, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my sake, and the gospel's, But he shall receive a hundredfold now in this time, houses, and brethren, and sisters, and mothers, and children, and lands, with persecutions [aka haters]; and in the world to come eternal life. ‘ -Mark 10:29-30
I think Diddy put it best in “More money, more problems". Can a sista come out of her valley season in peace without the gates of hell tryna come for her neck?
As we grow in grit, grace, and wisdom, so will the peanut gallery of haters. We have to be wise enough to spot hateration so we A) Don’t waste our energy and oil, and B) Spot when we might be acting like a hater.
Here are some ways to spot hateration (and tips to stop participating if you are acting like a hater):
1. Haters meditate on evil.
First of all, all of our righteousness is rags before Christ. I just wanna get that out of the way so you know I am not judging you. Hateration will cause you to assume the worst of every person you encounter and call it consciousness or wisdom, but it’s really just hateration. If someone does something unbecoming and your automatic thought is to assume the worst, you may be hating.
A good way to remedy this issue might be to assume the best of everyone as most people have too much going on in their personal lives to premeditate an assault against you. You will need a collective body of evidence to show that someone is truly meaning you harm, but assumptions and jumping to conclusions makes an @ss out of you and them.
2. Haters are constantly counting other people’s blessings instead of their own.
Scroll, scroll, scroll, Instagram Queen. Haters will scour people’s pages without ever following, liking a pic, or even as much as a smiley face. Their big eyes cause them to covet and envy every Instagram star, or even their neighbor. Somebody gets a breakthrough and the first thought is “She’s stunting” or “She thinks she’s all that”… If this has been you, sorry to tell you boo, you are being a hater at that very moment.
A better way is to assume that Instagram is a highlight reel and that everyone is out here working hard to get there’s. If they aren’t, it’s just a matter of time before God exposes them. Better to leave that judgment to God, unless you would like to be judged with the same measuring stick.
3. Haters are willing to scheme, kill and lie to be successful
You are willing to scheme, kill, and lie to be successful. If you are signing up for every business idea known to man without asking if you have the skills and talents to excel in that area, then you are likely acting like a hater AND being greedy. For example, I can hold a note, but you are not likely to find me on America’s Got Talent singing an Adele song, that’s not my assignment on God’s green earth.
Sidebar:. If an AGT producer is reading this, please invite me! I'll still show up...haha! You might not like what you hear, but I'll show up just to promote my blog and podcast. Just being honest.
Back to the facts! Haters will think they can do everything better than the person God has appointed for a set assignment, but never question why God hasn’t given them the platform to do the same. If haters don’t feel they can measure up with the person they perceive to be “shining” they try to cut them down with side comments and gossip.
A better way to love here is to actually reflect and say “Is there something God has assigned to me that I am not stewarding well?”, “Am I willing to carry the cross of the person I am hating on?”, "Is there a reason God has not entrusted me with that level of authority?”, “Is there something I can learn from this person?"
Instead of hating on the person who seems to be doing well, steward what is not working well in your life, be it your relationships, money, or even career. I don’t know about you, but money management can usually cause me to forget about whatever is going on in other people’s lives. More coins, less googly eyes, please.
Stop stalking people’s pages and lives, FOCUS ON YOUR BLESSINGS. Gratitude, sis, gratitude. It's harder to do in some seasons than others, but I have learned that gratitude is a waymaker when you give Glory to God.
4. A hater's life will lack peace.
As we have recently seen in the news, having money, or experiencing success in business doesn’t make anyone less of a hater. Just look at the Oval Office if you need evidence of that. In general, haters find it hard to co-exist in a community with others. The fruits of the spirit are hard to locate in their lives. Everywhere you find them is strife and discord, even though the Bible teaches that the children of God are called to be peacemakers. Their first feedback regarding others is always negative first. Even their compliments are negative. Lawd. They are "Champions of Negativity" as one of my favorite pastors, Pastor Samuell Addy, likes to say.
A better way to love champions of negativity is to run for the hills. Limit the amount of time you spend with them until they have identified the need to end their toxic ways. An unaware hater is bad news all around. Move them from the VIP section of your life to the balcony. That toxicity is contagious and you don't need it on you or around you. It'll pollute what good you have in you.
If you find yourself constantly attacking others, or pointing out their flaws and claiming it is just "keeping it real", there might be some hateration going on. For example, I spent most of 2019 shading people who I felt did my family wrong, but it wasn't until I made a conscious decision to put it down (and regularly pray for those people), that doors started opening for me.
You may need to dig deep and go back to your earliest childhood memory to figure out when and how you became a hater. Sometimes, it is genuine wrongs done to us that cause us to become haters without even realizing it. Old wounds we are licking instead of allowing the poison to bleed out (through prayer, reading our word, listening to positive messages, singing songs of praise, fasting, and sometimes, THERAPY) so we can heal.
5. Haters will do all the right things, for the wrong reasons.
Hateration typically has an ulterior motive. It looks like getting close to someone because you believe it will give you an in with someone else. It can look like befriending those who seem to have wealth, power, or influence because a person believes doing so will add to their personal net worth. Hateration is manipulative and will do anything to try and gain access to a person's life, including showering people with praise and gifts as their hearts meditate on evil against them.
"You betta run Forrest, run Forrest, run.”- Juvenile. "That’s all I have to say about that”- Forrest Gump. Actually, the bible tells us to bless those who persecute us and pray for those who despitefully use us. So last Christmas, I invited all my friends and haters to my housewarming and even gave some of them gifts. I was a little annoyed I had to do that, but God was pleased --- which was enough for me since I am a bondservant of Christ.
Matthew 5:44 KJV: But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you.
Working as a leader in a human service-oriented field, my haters and accusations come a dime a dozen, but I have learned to either ignore them or condemn tongues that rise up against me in judgment, like the bible has taught me, depending on the circumstance. Most importantly, I have learned that love is my greatest weapon, even when I think my sharp, witty tongue might be better (I'm still on the potter's wheel). Anyway, I hope these quick tips either helped you spot a hater, or helped you stop being one. This post was inspired by nothing more than the B.I.B.L.E.:
"What is causing the quarrels and fights among you? Don’t they come from the evil desires at war within you? You want what you don’t have, so you scheme and kill to get it. You are jealous of what others have, but you can’t get it, so you fight and wage war to take it away from them. Yet you don’t have what you want because you don’t ask God for it. And even when you ask, you don’t get it because your motives are all wrong—you want only what will give you pleasure." James 4:1-3 NLT
A better way to love here is to remember that God is not a respecter of persons. What he does for one, he is willing to do for another. Jealousy can cause you to envy and kill in deed or word (think Cain and Abel) -- but if you turn to God and steward your situation, sooner than later, your time will come. Ask God for guidance and remember, your true enemy is never another human being. Pray girl. Pray.