Robert Wurtz II
“Those who hate me without a cause are more than the hairs of my head; They are mighty who would destroy me, Being my enemies wrongfully; Though I have stolen nothing, I still must restore it.” (Psalms 69:4 NKJV)
“But this happened that the word might be fulfilled which is written in their law, “They hated Me without a cause.’” (John 15:25 NKJV)
“But I say unto you, That whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment.” (Matthew 5:22a KJV)
There are times in life when we perceive that a person has “ought against us” while in fact, they simply don’t like us. If we are to avoid feelings of what is commonly called “condemnation” (caused by worrying about how people feel about us) we must distinguish between offense and dislike. One of the hardest things to come to terms with is that some people are going to dislike you no matter what you do.
When a person behaves in such a way that leads us to believe that we have offended them it should be our Christian instinct to go to them for reconciliation. However, when the person who acts offended can think of no reason why they feel as they do… my experience is that it’s typically because they don’t like you or they don’t like something you stand for. They arerejecting you and may not even know why.
What complicates the issue is when the “spiritual” folks among us contend that they discerned something about us that justifies their behavior towards us. These types generally mistake things they like for being anointed and things they dislike as being carnal or demonic. Granted, there are legitimate reasons for disfellowshipping people that are outlined in the epistles. This is not what I am referring to. I don’t want to sound irreverent but we don’t get to act like we have been offended by a person simply because we felt a goosebump or got a weird notion when they walked by. God does not allow for such excuses for rejecting people. In fact, we are even supposed to love our enemies.
The psalmist understood these things. He wrote, Those who hate me without a cause are more than the hairs of my head; They are mighty who would destroy me, Being my enemies wrongfully. Talk about rejection! The people who hated him had no good reason for it. If you asked them they probably couldn’t tell you why they felt like they did. Jesus experienced it as well as we read, But this happened that the word might be fulfilled which is written in their law, “They hated Me without a cause.’” (John 15:25 NKJV)
Have you ever tried to propitiate a person who hated you without cause? I mean, the world would probably call it “trying to buy love.” I have spent hundreds if not thousands of dollars in my life trying to do what the psalmist described saying, Though I have stolen nothing, I still must restore it. You spend money on this and that. It’s like we sense that if we can just find the right gift they will stop acting like we have offended them. It doesn’t work. You buy gifts and things seem to be better. However, when the gifts run out the relationship sours again.
It’s not unusual for the world to be selective in who they do and don’t like or love. For those itching to point out that we can love someone and not have to like them I dare you to try it. What are you saying? “I love you… but I really can’t stand you?” Nonsense. That is a copout. What if God loved us in that way?
Notice what Jesus said, “But I say unto you, That whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment.” (Matthew 5:22a KJV) Angry without a cause? Newer translations omit “without cause” but it’s a Greek word that means in vain. How can you or I be angry in vain unless we dislike or hate the person? The people we love we give the benefit of the doubt and would never be angry at them over trivial matters. If we are angry at our brother or sister without cause we have to face the facts — we are angry and we don’t know why.
I suggest that the reason why people (even professing Christians) who are angry with their brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment — is that it’s simply veiled hatred. It’s not acceptable. Our instinct towards people should always be that of love and kindness. When there has been an offense — there should be reconciliation. When a Christian rejects reconciliation (all things being biblical) they typically forfeit their Christianity card. Why? Because it is unbecoming of a Christian to reject a fellow brother or sister without cause. The consequence of “behaving as if you have been offended when you have not” is that it will be revealed and dealt with in the judgment.
If people hated the psalmist and Jesus without cause… they will hate you and me without cause. But it ought not so to be in the kingdom of God. Dealing With Rejection