David was 'a man after God's own heart'. Translation: God not only loved this guy, he enjoyed 'hanging out' with him. That's huge. Who wouldn't want to be the kind of guy who God likes to hang out with?

But some people hated David. They didn't see David through the eyes of God's love and favor.

We can't be naive about this. This stuff is real. Someone disliking you for no reason (or for some weird reason that's a reason only in their head), is real. People hating on you - that's an entirely different matter. Just as real.

Disliking might cause discomfort.

Hate is at the heart of doing someone harm.

Haters don't think of their hate as hate. If they did, they might have never become haters.

The scariest haters are those who know they are haters and who have given themselves to hatred. This probably marks the lowest point in the tragedy of the human family known as "the fall". It's real. It's very, very real. It's as real today as it was when Abel smashed his brother's head with a rock. Or stabbed him in the back. Or chocked him to death. The Bible doesn't go into so much detail. It just says that he "killed him".

But why glance over this terrible detail? Why not dwell on it for a moment, shall we?

I haven't killed anyone and I hope to never have to deal with an attacker who will present me with having to choose between his/her life or mine. Or the life of someone near and dear to me who is in danger and the attacker's life.

But due to the kind of school I graduated from, I got to see first hand plenty of people killed violently by someone in an act of murder.

Based on everything we know about crime and how murder works, unless we're talking about a tragic incident, premediated murder is an effort. It usually takes planning, it takes being in certain frame of mind. It changes the inner man of the murderer. Somethig in this person morphs. They become evil. What usually causes this morphing to occur is, you guessed it: hate.

Hate is as real as the next premediated murder you will hear about. Murder is only the end result of the full cycle of hatered.

We live in a world full of people who dislike us. Like all people who dislike other people (for one reason or another or for no reason whatsoever), they randomly say mean things about the person they dislike. Or they give looks, they make nasty remarks and so on. People get bent out of shape these days about being 'disliked'. People in general have become very thin-skinned. Everyone is ready to be a victim at a wink of an eye. But disliking only causes discomfort. No law can make peole to like other people. It's not criminal for some people to dislike some people and to like other people.

Hate is an entirely different matter. Just as people have this casual idea about 'love', they now use casually the word 'hate' as well.

Love, that is true love is a very powerful thing. It causes people to feel good in a way nothing else can make them feel and it causes people to do great things in the name of true love.

Hate, unfortunately, operates in the same way. And it's just as real. Hate becomes the identity of criminals, whether they realize it or not. Hate is at the bottom of every evil ever committed. Before hate is an evil act, it has gone through the process of being a seed-thought, a feeling, a way of thinking, a way of perceiving and a mode of being.

In Psalm 35 David speaks of people who are out to do him harm. I have known what it is for people to be out to do harm to me and my family due what God has called me to do and who he has made me to be. I used to not think about it. In fact I never really thought about it until few years ago when I began to do some deep thinking in an attempt to understnad better the world around me. I realized that true love and true hate are the two most potent forces in our world. By choosing to worship the God of Abraham, who is Love, I choose to allow him to confront and expose anything in me that even remotely resembles hate. Who else or what else can rid us of this plague, if not Love Himself?

Some people hate on people who are sold out for God. It bothers them in a profound way. It exposes something they've either had and lost or they've never had. I count myself incredibly blessed to have been hated by many through the years due to who God has made me and what he has called me to do.

I am even more blessed to have had a chance to love and to have been truly loved by many.