The Divine Loves Our Haters Too

November 4, 2016

Here’s the cold hard truth.
You know that person you CANNOT stand, even for one second? It’s like water and oil between you two. You try to be good and kind and peaceful, even to spiders and ants, yet this one person, you’d be willing to commit crimes against.

Well the cold hard truth is that someone out there loves them. They have friends. They have boyfriends and girlfriends. And most importantly, the odds are that their mother loves them dearly.

One time I witnessed a mother’s love in action.
Someone outside the family mentioned that her kid was misbehaving and at times rude. The mother, even though she later admits what was said was true, reacted ferociously to that comment. She went on the defensive then offensive, like an angry mother lion.

It doesn’t matter how terrible the son, the mother will likely love him. It’s nearly impossible for moms to publicly admit her kid’s weaknesses. She may be a brutal tyrant when it comes to punishment but she will not let anyone else discipline her child.

Public school teachers know that truth all too well. The mom may be beating her kid at home but if the teacher says one tough sentence against him, there’s going to be an emergency PTA meeting.

I heard a story in How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie. If my memory serves me correct, there was a famous criminal having a shootout with the cops. His mom still defended his actions, saying that her son was misunderstood!

The Divine Loves His Kids Unconditionally
The Divine (if you are open to believing in these things, which I am) has kids. That’s us. All of us. The good, the bad, and the ugly. That’s why The Dalai Lama refers to each of us as brothers as sisters.

The first time I read that there is the all encompassing Divine out there who loves everyone equally, that was a difficult pill to swallow. I still haven’t swallowed, I got the pill stuck under my tongue. I originally heard these things in new age teachings, like Conversations With God by Neale Donald Walsch.

What the parent wants is for his kids to love one another and take care of each other.

“You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven. He causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.”
– Matthew 5:43-45

Meaning, the Divine isn’t selective with his/her kids. The Sun shines on the wicked and the righteous equally. Since he does that, we should also be loving our “haters” too, since they’re our brothers and sisters, even if we don’t like them.

It’s the parent’s job to dole out punishment.
That’s why whenever I exacted childlike revenge against my brother, even if justified, my mom would punish me. Even if I was in the right, it did not matter. She did not want to hear my protestations.

That’s the same way with the ultimate parent. The Divine.

I think that is what’s meant by this:
“Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” says the Lord.”
– Romans 12:19

That is also what was meant by Alexandre Dumas when he wrote The Count of Monte Cristo.

The book is billed as a story of revenge. When I watched the movie, that’s surely what it seemed like. Yet in the book, the Count doesn’t do much revenge at all!

Repentance
All he does is set up situations where the criminals end up hurting themselves through their own selfish actions. And still, even when the evil folks are being punished thru their own faults, the Count asks them if they repent for their sins.

Nearly all of the characters refuse to do so and suffer the consequences. Only one guy repents and is freed by the Count, even though the dude had done terrible things to him.

It doesn’t matter how long it takes you to do so, as one repents his sins, the Divine may spare the rod.

The Dalai Lama said that he and Buddhists don’t believe in the death penalty for that exact reason. As long as one is alive, that person has time to turn his life around and be a force for good.

“Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord.”
– Acts 3:19

Alcoholics Anonymous
That is why all the steps in recovery for Alcoholics Anonymous is repentance for sins and asking for forgiveness.

It’s all about a spiritual recovery for our past wrongdoings so that we can be healed of this destructive addiction.

Step 3: Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him.

Step 4: Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.

Step 5: Admitted to God, to ourselves and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.

Step 6: Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character.

Step 7: Humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings.

Step 8: Made a list of all persons we had harmed, and became willing to make amends to them all.

Step 9: Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.

The Lord’s Prayer
Even in the famous Lord’s Prayer (you can tell I’m doing deep dives into Christian teachings lately), it talks about forgiving our brothers and sisters.

Our Father who art in heaven,
Hallowed be thy Name.
Thy kingdom come.
Thy will be done,
On earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our trespasses,
As we forgive those who trespass against us.

And lead us not into temptation,
But deliver us from evil.
For thine is the kingdom,
and the power, and the glory,
for ever and ever.
Amen.

There’s a father in heaven, a metaphor for the Divine. And this is his kingdom, aka world. We wish for him to forgive our mistakes, because surely we aren’t perfect, and we in like will forgive our brothers & sisters as well.

What should we do?
What are we to do if one of our siblings is acting up?

I don’t know, but Mahatma Gandhi said “Hate the sin, love the sinner.”

This phrase I first heard from Warren Buffett, when referring to his philosophy on doling out punishment to wrongdoers.

We don’t have to like the sin.
We don’t have to accept wrongdoings. We have boundaries and standards. We defend our rights.

Yet we know that the ultimate punishment is reserved by the ultimate parent. And if that wrongdoer decides to repent and amend his ways, he is back in favor with the parent even if we don’t like that dude.

Sucks doesn’t it?
Yea, I’m not there yet either but just wanted to share my research with you.

“Bless them which persecute you: bless, and curse not.”
– Romans 12:14

Resources:
12 Steps of AA
The Lord’s Prayer