Love and hate in the mirror

This is the second of three devotionals submitted for consideration to “Forward Day by Day,” a daily devotional publication of The Episcopal Church. The full month of daily devotionals will be published next January.


Psalm 139:21 Do I not hate those who hate you, Lord, and abhor those who are in rebellion against you?

The greatest enemy to my walk with Christ can usually be found in the mirror. But, whether we see faults in ourselves or others, how do we square this verse with Christ’s command to love our enemies? How can we hate while walking in love?

If we broaden our view, we see this psalm is not about searching for external enemies. It is about that enemy we find in the mirror. God knows us to the core of our being. From the time we’re knit together in the womb, there is nowhere in creation we can go where God doesn’t know and love us.

Our Creator knows the true version of us – the truth of our soul, absent the choices by which we separate ourselves from God’s love. It’s those choices – our own rebellion against God – which this psalm calls us to reject. We don’t hate ourselves, but what draws us from God. We do not abhor others, but that in them which draws humanity further from the Kingdom.

MOVING FORWARD: What choices or habits in your daily life keep you from fully embracing God’s loving grace?

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