... "to feel intense or passionate dislike for (someone)." I get hate. I get intensity. I get passion. I get dislike. I get it.
I have hated (and been hated, I'm sure). I get the feeling when someone lets you down, or when someone hurts you in action or with their words, I get the confusion and all the feelings that misunderstandings embody and the constant mental wearing and tear of the 'silent treatment' on your psyche. I get feeling alone and isolated, attacked and mocked, the feelings of devalue with a glare and general sense of purposelessness.
I get it. I think everyone gets hate. Everyone has experienced hate directly or indirectly. It's real. It's emotional. It's mean. It's not right. It happens. But, it doesn't have to continue past you.
I met God when I was 18 years old in a church youth group I'd never been to before. I experienced Him radically through an obedient speaker who told me that God had a message for me and it couldn't wait; He began to speak into my life. Speak over situations and circumstances he would know nothing about. Disclaimer: I'd never met the speaker, or talked to him - so, when God shows up in force like that, you literally have no choice but to respond and give your life to Him. So, that I did. My encounter and experience with Him was so real, so personal, so perfect. I was just a baby though, having never really been a church goer growing up let alone having this "relationship" I was apparently in automatically - it was overwhelming to say the least. It was challenging. It began a process of pruning in my life that I don't think (and I hope) never ends. I slowly (and I mean slowly) started to see things in my life that I couldn't keep doing if I wanted to serve God and His church wholeheartedly. This wasn't and isn't a painless process. When God prunes you, it hurts. He tugs, pokes and prods at things that you may have either a) hidden deep down or b) not even known existed. At the beginning, I saw it as punishment. Having not really known the character of God yet, I didn't get that He was (is) fundamentally GOOD. I saw the obstacles and challenges I was living through as punishment. And that's a great example of putting faith into your hurts and pain instead of putting your faith in God and His good nature. But that knowledge of God comes with both spiritual and emotional maturity, which I'm so grateful for. But before coming to accept the pruning process and stepping into the fullness of what God had for me, I walked in hate for years. I wasted many years in hate and in the lies that I believed to my core. One was that I was justified. Another, that I deserved that apology. Another that 'I didn't have to if they didn't' have to. That they started it (I kid you not, that was a thought. I know, I know - 5 year old mentality). But once you start believing and ALLOWING one lie to fester in your mind, it's easy for the devil to add another and another and another until your mind is this toxic cesspool of unforgiveness, bitterness and cynicism.
The truth is, sure, you may or may not deserve that apology you're waiting for. You may or may not be justified in being hurt or angry, and they may or may not have started it - but why do we allow ourselves to get so stuck in trying to seek justice for ourselves that we forget (and totally undermine) God's ability to bring justice to a situation Himself? It may not be in the timing we had planned - but one thing I know about the God that I serve, is that He is just. He is kind. He is compassionate. He cares deeply about your hurts, each and every one - but He also cares so much about you that He wants you to propel forward, through pruning, through trials, through personal and spiritual growth and come out better. Hungrier for Him and deeper in love with the people He created. We can't live in hate but say we love people. That's incongruent to God's characteristics and values. We can't live incongruently; it catches up to us.
The pain of staying the way we are is much more painful than changing.
People aren't perfect. We're flawed. We're emotional. We're all learning and all at different stages of learning. Refusing to forgive past hurts or refusing to move forward without an apology is only keeping you locked up from all your life is supposed to be. You can't serve your purpose on earth (which I believe is to serve and love others) if you're doing the same old song and dance in hate-limbo. I know we can all think of a person/situation that we haven't yet forgiven, and I just pray that you would find freedom. Even if you don't believe in God, freedom from grudges is there for you. Don't let one more day go by where you wake up and live in hate. It's time to stop waiting to 'feel' good about forgiving said person(s) and just choose it.
Choose freedom. Choose joy. Choose forgiveness. Everyday.
It's not easy, but it's so possible.