You may be wondering why such a negative title. Ever since 9/11 it seems like hostility has become more prevalent in American. School shootings, disgruntled employees going postal, internet bullying, and mob mentality going out of control when there is disagreement over a judicial judgment. We know that hostility dates back to the beginning of creation. The fall of Adam and Eve in the Garden began the battle between good and evil. Hostility began in the first family with Cain becoming angry when God looked with favor on Abel’s offering but not his. (Gen. 4:1-5). In verse 8 we find Cain’s plot to kill Abel. The anger and hostility caused him to murder his own brother.
Hostility has been a part of every family, workplace, and even the church. Why do we allow it? In every situation in life, we have a choice to act or react. If there can be an end to hostility, it has to start somewhere. Someone has to choose to make a difference. You and I can make a difference in our relationships by starting at home.
In 2 Samuel 6:16 we find Michal’s reaction to David’s dancing before the Ark of the Covenant being returned to the City of David. “As the ark of the Lord was entering the City of David, Mical, daughter of Saul watched from a window. And when she saw King David leaping and dancing before the Lord, she despised him in her heart.” (NIV)
She made her choice perhaps out of jealously and judgment of her husband’s behavior. After all he was the king. Sadly, she missed the great event of the return of the Ark. She failed to join in the celebration of Joy and became barren losing the opportunity for the joy of motherhood and became imprisoned by bitterness and hatred.
In 1 John 3:12 and 15 we find this instruction. “Do not be like Cain, who belonged to the evil one and murdered his brother. Anyone who hates his brother is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life in him.” (NIV)
Any hostility we have toward anyone interferes with our relationship with God. Every step taken in bitterness leads us to being locked up in a tower like Mical. If we don’t abandon bitterness, resentment, and anger we are unable to totally abandon ourselves to God. Here are some opposite responses when hostility wants to take over. Good will, kindness, respect, gentleness, peace, and love.
Love is always the best choice even though it may not be easy. Love is a choice and when we choose to love, feelings of good will, kindness, respect, gentleness, and peace will follow. God is more than able to replace a stony heart with a heart of flesh and we will experience genuine love for others.
Like Mical and Cain we will not be able enter into His presence to worship with our whole heart, soul, mind and even our body without dealing with hostility as sin.
When His manifest presence invades our gatherings, will we be free to dance as David did?
~~~~From my to yours~~~~Andrea