Weekly Sabbath Survey
The Hate Snag — 12-31-2017
Snag. a rough, sharp or jagged part of something on which clothing or skin may be caught, possibly causing damage; a concealed or unexpected difficulty or obstacle which impedes forward progress.
Snare. a contrivance often consisting of a noose for entangling birds or small mammals; a trap; something by which one is impeded, captured, or involved in difficulties; something deceptively attractive.
Most of us outdoorsy types have been working in the yard or around the barn and gotten our sweater or shirt hung on a fence wire or stray a nail. Or, we caught ourselves between two strands of barbwire as we crawled through the three-wire strand fence. If you are moving pretty fast, a tear results and the offending barb or snag may cause a painful scratch. It may be a case in which you cannot easily free yourself after being snagged. You may untangle yourself or get help and keep going, but damage has been done.
All Believers should be aware of the perils of wandering away from the path of righteousness and getting into spiritual trouble. Today’s subject is about being snagged by hate. Snagged is a forerunner of being fully snared, and maybe captured by an attractive deception. For Born Again people, it is difficult, if not impossible at times, for us to recognize that we are snagged by hate and/or unforgiveness or some other negative thing. We are busy feeling offended or having hurt feelings, and so deceived we don’t see our emotions have descended into that unforgiving Hate Place. It takes a good friend telling us, or the Lord’s mercy through Holy Spirit, for us to understand just how far we are off the mark.
If we persist in weeks, months, or even years of “snagged and proud of it” we will go on down into snared. The difference is the definition above with the word ‘noose’. Who can deny this is a bad spot to be in? Bitterness isn’t far away now, and neither is the danger of losing out on what God has for us. I heard a preacher say, “Hating another person is like taking poison yourself and hoping the other person dies.” It is spiritual poison for us to have these very caustic feelings toward even our worst enemies.
Most of us who have been in church for any length of time, or even in our own family, have had the opportunity to observe persons overshadowed by bitterness. It shows on their face, and comes out of their mouth in what they say. When I was younger, I wondered what was wrong with some people. Why did they appear to be slightly angry, frowning ALL the time. Even their laughter sounded hollow. No real joy in it. The Lord opened my eyes to spiritual things that cannot be observed any other way. Hurts and disappointments, things done to us by other people and the buried unforgiveness that snags us so easily. No one is immune to this. And it can happen over and over, even though we have been through it before. In my own case, my latest time of testing was a few years ago over a deep and hateful dislike for a political figure. When I saw him on TV, something angry rose up inside me. And when I spoke of this person in conversation, in time it sounded venomous even to me! It took a slap upside the head from the Good Lord to make me SEE. I was freed and am no longer snagged nor snared by it. (Still don’t like the guy, but no HATE.)
Am I talking heaven or hell? I should never judge that part. We can’t even know our own heart without a ‘God Reveal.’ But my thought is, why risk it? The weird and sick “enjoyment” of keeping hate around like a dangerous pet snake is NOT worth the risk it poses for missing eternal life!! Remember the ‘deceptively attractive’ part of this process? It somehow seems good to us to keep hating. We must wake up! Repent. Put all bitter angry hateful feelings away from us like poisoned food an enemy has offered us.
In this I can testify: I have been snagged. I have been snared. I have even felt the noose! (loosely) But I have been set free. Jesus came to set the captives free!! And He does it for us over and over again.
Our soul escaped as a bird out of the snare of the fowlers. The snare is broken and we are escaped. Our help is in the name of the Lord who made heaven and earth. Psalm 124:7-8
Charlene Reams Manning, Believer in the Lord Jesus Messiah
Copyright July 2016
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