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considering hate…

Beloved, we love God because he first loved us. If anyone says, “I love God,” but hates his brother, he is a liar; for whoever does not love a brother whom he has seen cannot love God whom he has not seen. This is the commandment we have from him: Whoever loves God must also love his brother. -1 Jn 4:19

Miles says he hates his brother but I know this isn’t true and I tell him so. He insists he hates his brother. He details for me that he loves me, he loves his dad, he loves his sister and his oldest brother, Chet but Henry, he says he hates.

I tell him that he is not allowed to hate Henry. He eyes me suspiciously. “But I do, I hate him. He’s mean to me and I hate him.” I tell him again, that in our house he is not allowed to hate his brother and that he has something to say in this. I tell him that hate is a choice and that love is a choice. I tell him that love and hate are choices we make daily, sometimes hourly. They are choices that pile up upon each other and choices that eat away at each other, love building strong foundations, hate digging holes into those foundations like cavities eating away at our teeth, causing pain and decay and death. I tell him that he may dislike his brother anytime, anyplace but he is not allowed to hate his brother, not in my house.

Miles tells me then that he dislikes his brother and that satisfies him, for now. Tomorrow, I’ll have to remind him again and I’ll have to remind myself too because hate is insidious, easy to access, easy to feed, eating the sugar that passes over my tongue so easily, swallowing lies like candy that is sweet and beautiful but only offers momentary pleasure, only offers a certain lift before the inevitable and lasting heaviness.

#candy #sugar #readings #love #hate #orthodox