Haters Gonna Hate
One night recently we had our youth service and I was driving two of our girls home. Each girl expressed that they were not feeling like themselves, because of some weighty stuff they were dealing with. Much of what they were going through had to do with things others had said about them to purposely cut them down and stab them in the back...people they trusted.
We have all been there before. There are things others have said about us that have hurt us and have made us question if we are really capable of doing anything worthwhile at all. We have all had haters. So how do you deal? I strongly believe that it is all a matter of perspective. In my own life, I have had to learn that I don't live for the approval and acceptance of others. I can't. I'll never be able to please everybody and I don't have to. I live to walk out my relationship with God. It's His approval I am looking for, which Christ earned for me when He died on the cross on my behalf. I love what Paul writes in Galatians 1:10, "Am I now trying to win the approval of human beings, or of God? Or am I trying to please people? If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a servant of Christ." Let the haters say what they want to say. You have nothing to prove to them.
Here's the other thing: You have a purpose and calling in Christ that is secure. No matter what people try to say about you, God is doing a work in you and He is not going to stop until He is finished (Phil. 1:6). You are fearfully and wonderfully made (Ps. 139:14). He is equipping you with everything good that is required for carrying out the purposes He has laid out for you (Heb. 13:21). Despite all the haters and all the words that have been spoken against you, you can never be separated from God's love (Rom. 8:38-39). As it says in Romans 8:31, if God is for us who can be against us?
Remember that the naysayers, the liars and the backstabbers don't get to determine the outcome of your life, or the person that you will become. This is a road that you are walking with Jesus. He will see you through to the other side. He won't give up on you in the middle of the process.
There is one more thing I want you to remember when it comes to the haters. It's these familiar words spoken by Jesus and recorded in Matt. 5:44, "But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you." Ouch. I know, easier said than done. This kind of love for our enemies is a supernatural work of the Holy Spirit and sometimes requires a bit of a process, but it's the kind of love that God has asked us to strive for when it comes to our dealings with difficult people. Consider for a moment the example that Jesus set when He allowed His haters to nail Him to a cross.
Just know, that every person that has spoken out against you has been bruised, beaten down, and broken just like you have. Each hater in your life has been made to feel worthless and insecure. More often than not, it's that insecurity that has caused that person to lash out towards you.
Break the cycle. Find your security in Christ and allow God to use your prayers to aid in the process of healing and restoring even your enemies.