As I was trying to go to sleep last night this question kept coming to the front of my thoughts. Why is it easier to hate another person than to love them?
Why is it easier to harm another person than to do good for them?
I believe it is because of the sin of pride.
We don't often talk about sin, let alone point a finger at something, some act and say, "that is sin!"
Perhaps sometimes we need to. Perhaps sometimes we need to talk about sin so we know what it is.
Pride was the original sin that caused the fall of humankind, that necessitated the need of the Messiah, of Jesus Christ.
It was pride that drove Eve to accept the snakes temptation. She wanted to be like God, to be god. And this carried over to Adam. He wanted what she wanted, he didn't want to be left out. It was this pride that was their undoing and reason humankind have worked for centuries to learn and understand God - something that was in the beginning, already ours.
It is easier to hate someone that is different than ourselves. We tend to think better of ourselves than of others. "I'm not like that, I'm better than that." "Well, I would never!" "I didn't do it."
Anytime we compare ourselves to another person we run the risk of wallowing in the mud of pride. Even when we pride ourselves on being more humble than another.
We are able to hate because it is easier to hate than to accept another person as they are.
It is easier to put down, to bully, to kill, to abuse, than it is to love unconditionally. Why? Because when we love unconditionally we are putting that other person at the same level as we are, and sometimes even a bit above us because we are concerned with their needs and making sure they have what ever is needed.
Unconditional love makes more work for us. It means we have to be emotionally involved, physically involved and the problems of others become our problems.
Hating another person keeps us from being attached to another, keeps us from having to step out of our comfort zone, keeps us from possible harm - after all if I put myself out there and they spurn that love, well, then I've been hurt.
Yes, sometimes when we love unconditionally we get hurt, we get taken advantage of, we spend some emotional energy. However we are told not to count the cost.
Jesus tells us in the Gospel of Mark when asked which was the greatest commandment,
"The first is this: 'Hear, O Israel! The Lord our God is Lord alone! You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.' The second is this, 'You shall love your neighbor as yourself.' There is no other commandment greater than these." Mark 12:29-31
Loving your neighbor as yourself means exactly that. Doing good for them, making sure they have what they need to survive and serve God, making them your equal in all things - regardless of who they are, regardless of their gender, regardless of their race, regardless of the color of their skin, regardless of whether or not they are LGBTQ, regardless of any condition.
This is why it is easier to hate than to love. It is easy to preach hate.
We must overcome this!
We must teach our children love, compassion, forgiveness, tolerance, respect.
We must teach ourselves and remind ourselves to love, be compassionate, to forgive without counting the cost, to have tolerance, and to respect all human life.
And when we stumble, we must get back up, dust ourselves off, beg whomever we have hurt for forgiveness, and try again. And again. And again.
The song running through my head right now is this: "They will know we are Christians by our love!"