“This is the message you heard from the beginning: We should love one another. Do not be like Cain, who belonged to the evil one and murdered his brother. And why did he murder him? Because his own actions were evil and his brother’s were righteous. Do not be surprised, my brothers, if the world hates you.” (Reference: 1 John 3:11-13 )
I feel like I have reached a benchmark of sorts. Five years ago minus one day, I lost the job I had before my current job. I carried around a great deal of hurt from that experience and the post I wrote for October 31st reflected that. At that time I felt much too wounded to say what happened, it barely being 24 hours after the fact. But I alluded to something happening in the post Living in a World That Hates You. If you read the post from back then, you can tell that I could not keep the hurt of being let go out of my reflections. Having a five year interval allows me the ability to identify what the hurt was. And to say that I have recovered nicely.
I am not, beloved, equating that hurt with the evil action of murder, nor do I see it as equal to Cain who took the life of Abel. And probably in the long run I am better off where I am now, job and career-wise, then I would have been if I was still at the job.
The crux of the post five years ago was that I did not, in hindsight, feel valued or appreciated in that old job. I do feel that way in my “new” job. I do, however, carry a very small sliver of animosity towards my former supervisor; I have prayed many times that I might finally release that feeling, and I have high hopes that in time I will. What I think contributes to that feeling remaining is the disregard that became evident at the time of my being let go. I have had to in my new job let employees go, and in addition have had to make hard decisions concerning staff and clients. What I learned from my former supervisor is what NOT to do, and that has made it easier to know what I should do. But all of this does not precisely address this passage.
In my post from five years, I highlighted “the world hates you” portion and passed over the example of Cain and Abel because it was not germane to my feelings at the time. But I think of that now, that amount of animosity that Cain must have felt; and the shock it must have been to Abel that his brother felt towards him. Even at my lowest point, I don’t think I have ever felt that type and level of hatred. And yet there are instances – a staggering amount of instances – that one person has felt that type of violent hatred toward another.
It puts to shame the title I used five years ago. I realize I have no idea how it feels to live in a world that hates you that much; at least not in the “world” I live in. There is a big brutal world out there that I have never encountered, and I hope I never do! I hope and pray beloved that you do not live in such a world. And even more so I hope and pray that you have not created for others around you that type of world. Do not be surprised though, beloved, if the world does hate you that much. It is possible – more so I think than five years ago. May you have peace and shalom in your world, and may you create a world of peace and shalom for others. Selah!