“The Apostle John said in his letter that whosever hates his brother is not a child of God. Whosoever has hatred in his bloodstream towards anybody at all is not a child of God but a child of disobedience.” Pastor Demi paused and closed his eyes for seconds, humming.
Bade sat in the congregation wondering when the man on the podium will end his boring sermon. He took his phone for the umpteenth time and checked his chats on Whatsaap.
“The very beginning and end of God’s message to all species is love.” Pastor Demi continued after a while. He sounded like he was on the verge of tears. “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten son…,”
Bade’s mind was far away from church as he was engrossed in a chat until he heard Pastor Demi ask, “Who are you hating?!” Bade laughed as his mind turned the question around, “Who am I not hating?” He thought about how Chidi stole his money and denied, how Shade didn’t collect his assignment and made him lose twenty marks. He remembered how Phoebe embarrassed him in front of the whole department last year and how he became a laughing stock to everybody.
His mind didn’t stop there. He remembered how Godwin betrayed him by spreading all what was supposed to be his secrets. He continued remembering all the people that have ever offended him and he unconsciously hissed. “Is there anyone who has nobody he hates?” He said under his breath.
“Look at yourself!” Pastor Demi voiced out. “Who do you think you are? Do you think you deserve being in church? Being in the fellowship of the Lord Jesus? After all the sins you have committed? After all the times you have denied being a Christian? Not literally now but by your actions, your words and even your manner of person. Do you think that if God were to judge you according to your deeds, you would be where you are today? The Psalmist David recognized this and said in psalms 8:4 that ‘who is man that You are mindful of?’ Yes! Who are you?”
Bade didn’t know what to answer to the question, but he for sure knew that he wasn’t God who forgives people that didn’t deserve it.
“God, in all His grace and marvelousness decided to forgive all of your wrong deeds, all of your betrayals, embarrassments, sins, blasphemy, and you can’t do the same to someone that has hurt you?” He decided to step down and walk around. “Let me tell you something, apart from the fact that lack of forgiveness affects you more than it affects the person you are meting it on, it is a symbol of a life ridden with hatred, envy and strife, and guess what? By implication, that person becomes a confused person whose life is driven by thousands of evil you can ever think of! (see James 3:16) And let me give you another good news! Your prayers will not be answered when you are ruled by unforgiveness! (see Mark 11:25)”
Bade wasn’t sure if he was hearing right. My prayers won’t be answered? Fear overrode him.
“If you are here and you have been holding somebody, people in your heart, what good has it done you?”
Bade realized that all along, he had been destroying himself, weighing his life down and slowing down his process. He realized that holding on to hurts have made his life more miserable than it was. He had been ruled by hatred all along.
“Love is the key. The very foundation of this earth! You can better your life by releasing all of those you have been bitter against. It will help you grow, it will help you love. It will help you grow in love and help your love grow. A life that is ruled by love is a life that is ruled by God. A life ruled by God is a life that has it all figured out!”
Bade left the church after the sermon. He knew he needed to settle scores with himself. He was going to let go of the pain and hurt and backwardness he had put himself through. He was going to exchange a hateful life for that of love.
Hatred has no dividend!
Love is all it takes!

By Abiola Okunsanya.

The commandments of God centre around love. At some point, Christ said if we truly we love him, we would obey him. Love is one powerful attribute of God. It is who he is and expects us, his children to have this as one of our identities. Choose to love today. It’s not an easy process but he’s willing to strengthen you. Follow us in social media (facebook: facebook.com/gospelarenagl, Instagram and Twitter: @gospelarenagl) and also subscribe to this website.