How to Speak Honorably About Someone Who Hates You
Have you ever had to deal with someone who hates you? At the end of this post, I’ll list three thoughts about how to think and act in this circumstance.
Back in the era of Lincoln, General Robert E. Lee had to deal with this. Erwin Lutzer writes about this:
General Robert E. Lee spoke in the highest terms to President Lincoln about an officer who was known to have nothing but hatred and disrespect for him (that is, for Robert E. Lee), his commanding officer. When someone pointed out to the general the contempt this man had for him, General Lee replied, “Yes, that’s true. But the President asked my opinion of him, not his opinion of me. – Erwin W. Lutzer, When You’ve Been Wronged: Overcoming Barriers to Reconciliation, (Chicago: Moody, 2007), Kindle, 162.
If you have a boss or friend or maybe a church member who is out to undermine you or hurt your reputation, here are three things you should remember (while at the same time seeing if you have provoked them or sinned in this situation and you need to repent):
1. Christians need to have an attitude of biblical forgiveness. Matthew 18:21-22 says, “Then Peter came to Him and said, ‘Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? Up to seven times?’ Jesus said to him, ‘I do not say to you, up to seven times, but up to seventy times seven.’”
2. Christians need to flee a root of bitterness. Hebrews 12:14-15 says, “Pursue peace with all people, and holiness, without which no one will see the Lord: looking carefully lest anyone fall short of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up cause trouble, and by this many become defiled.”
3. Christians need to remember that God is sovereign and is judge. David said in 2 Samuel 16:9-10, “Then Abishai the son of Zeruiah said to the king, ‘Why should this dead dog curse my lord the king? Please, let me go over and take off his head!’ But the king said, ‘What have I to do with you, you sons of Zeruiah? So let him curse, because the Lord has said to him, ‘Curse David.’ Who then shall say, ‘Why have you done so?’’”
This past Sunday, I preached this message on Matthew 18 on forgiveness: