Forgiveness and Love in a World of Hate
“This podcast was recorded one week prior to Jeffery Epstein being found dead in his prison cell.”
This is the continuation of a series of podcasts started in Episode #663.
When you purpose to forgive and to love, that forgiveness and love hits a world full of hate like a fully loaded freight train. You will be astonished!
I forgot to talk about this. A few years ago, if you had asked me if there was any way that I could have any sort of ministry to, for instance, a pedophile, I would have worked very hard to say “Yes,” but it would have not come from my heart. It would have been because God tells me that forgiveness is there? But it was impossible for me to imagine having, crying out with the level of passion and mercy and love that, that I have had for, you know, not just a few years, for since I’ve been saved, for victims who are children of these things. Wholehearted! Ok, so nothing, nothing withheld and actually having love for, mercy for but concern for their soul. That level of forgiveness, of love in prayer I would have thought impossible on that level for a pedophile. Yes. Which to me I don’t know if it is or not, I can consider peak evil, okay?
I have had that kind of prayer for Jeffery Epstein. All the time? No. No. At least three times? Yes. He is… When God says, “It is not My will that any should perish.” I’m paraphrasing and it’s… That’s what He said. Any! That part I know is right. That includes the Jeffery Dahmers, the Ted Bundys, the, you know; they are included in the word ‘any’; it’s a specific word. It covers the gamut.
And…But I, I could not imagine getting there. I couldn’t imagine crossing the bridge. I could imagine gritting my teeth and saying, “In obedience to You, Lord, I pray they do not go to hell.” That, that was as far as I could picture. And that was as far as I could pray, to be perfectly honest, for that. Because my heart was so holy engaged on the other side of it, with the victim.
And I don’t know that my prayers would have had the power if I hadn’t, if He hadn’t done a work that I can’t see, to remove that hate in my heart. And it was hate, to remove that hate in my heart so that His mercy could come in, so that His love could come in. Because it is love that makes a difference and, and… Always.
And so those prayers had to be fueled by love maybe completely including the perpetrator. I don’t know! I don’t know what, what role that played. But I know love is something we, we cannot fathom. And love and forgiveness go… You can’t separate one from the other. And if you let the Lord do what He’s going to do, you’ll have them both. You’ll have them both in that place, in that moment, you’ll have the love, you’ll have the forgiveness and they’ll go hand in hand. You won’t be able to separate them.
It’s that video I watched and I think, John, we’ve talked about it on the podcast. But it was the, the Green River Killer, I think; serial killer. And it was the day in court when all of the victim’s families got to have their say before the judge; it was for sentencing. But it was basically just a chance for their pain to be heard, for them to say something to him. And he sat there like a stone, his face never moved; he didn’t look them in the eye. He… And they were crying, screaming, saying… I mean it was emotional, as you can imagine, you know. He had murdered women they loved.
And then this man got up there and he looked like Santa Claus; he had a big white beard. And he was tearful and it was his daughter who was gone and he said… Well, he said several things. But basically what he said was, “I forgive you. It’s the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do but I forgive you completely. There is nothing of me on you.”
And that’s when the Green River killer started crying. He turned his face away, he snuffled. That’s what broke him. Forgiveness broke him. Hatred did nothing. He was prepared for that. He was defended against that – the rage, the anger. You think these people do what they do out of nowhere? Of course not. They probably had, you know, hell inside them from the time they were little. I don’t know because God has not given me that kind of, and I really don’t want that kind of knowledge into the, that sort of mind. But hate did nothing. Righteousness anger did nothing, their tears coming from that, nothing. This man forgave and he said, “I forgive you utterly.” And that’s what broke him. Love broke him.
Well, I’m going to open up something here and it’s kind of going in a different direction that we’ve been going but it goes along with the, the whole love theme. This morning I was walking and the Lord really just… He’s been just kind of talking to me while I’m walking and said, “Be as loving to yourself as you are desiring to be toward others.” And I don’t know if this is baked totally yet and I don’t really want to serve half-baked bread but if y’all will jump in and have anything with it, then that’s great.
But there’s a whole process of, of, of loving yourself that I’m seeing pretty intensely and being convicted of because I’m, I feel like God’s kind of taken me down a path to, to love myself in a lot of different ways. I have physically changed a lot of things to love myself, respect myself, whether it’s exercise or whether it’s eating right or whether it’s vitamins. That’s a, that is a love and a respect of my self.
But then there’s, there’s a, there’s a whole thing about self talk. There’s a whole thing about a respect of your process. There’s respect of your self. And, and that’s where I’m at right now. And I, it’s, I can, I can cut this easily. But I mean that’s where I’m at. And so He says, “I want you to love you as much as you want to desire to love others.” And I went, “Oh, well that’s a huge challenge, isn’t it?” Because I don’t think, I don’t think I always do.
I mean, I’ve come away from self-hatred but there’s a big difference between being in self-hatred and being, being willing to love yourself. There’s a neutral there. And I think I’ve been in a little bit of a neutral. And He wants me to love myself and so there’s a lot of ways of doing that and I’m, I’m discovering ways of doing that. And, you know, maybe there’ll be another podcast we’ll do that we, we talk about that.
But I really feel like it’s pretty huge. It’s pretty huge.
As we’ve been sharing this together, I realized the meaning of the second commandment in a deeper way. “Love the Lord your God with everything in you and love your neighbor as yourself.” And I’ve heard the statement, “You cannot love anyone unless you love yourself.”
And the Lord taught me this years, years ago. And He said that, “You are the only person you will ever truly know. Make sure that you do come to know you. It’s the only relationship of, of its kind in your life to you.” And He called me both to respect and to love myself and I’ve told the story different times on tape that life… I realize so clearly in the last ten or fifteen years that the intent of the devil in your life is to get you not to love yourself. And if you don’t love yourself, you will soon die spiritually and then you’ll die physically. And it’s… But it is a mandate to the Believer to love your neighbor as you love yourself. And so the investment in self is just respect. And He said to me at that time, “I created you. God created you, so love the creation of God. Give Me the respect as your Creator by loving, loving the one you, that I created.”
I did a booklet on Overcoming Self-hatred. I think I need to go add some chapters to it because I see some wonderful things. But so much is forgiveness and love. Because you love God and because He loves you are the power that we can use in the world.
I was going into a situation and I just knew that it could be touchy so I just sent God’s love there. Just “Pour out Your love there, Lord.” And it was completely miraculous. That Love is a power we possess not a feeling. Love is an… We are… We have within us the love of God compelling us to love if we will listen to it.
So that… I would love to develop that and learn more about doing that because the battle… I’m telling you, brothers and sisters, the battle of the enemy is to, to so come at you through people in hatred that you begin to hate yourself. There’s, there’s…
I know that the enemy is simply hate. Satan is simply hatred. That’s all there is to him and that’s all there is about him and that is his fruit. And if he can instill his hate in someone and then they turn their hate on you then the only hope you have to survive is to love and to love yourself and not allow yourself to turn against yourself because there’s so… In our… There’s a work of pride that takes place that I should be what I, I should be what I think I should be and so I’ll just… I had a friend show me. She lifted up her two hands in a fist and she said, “I’ve realized when I did that I was really saying, ‘Oh, you stupid thing’” and she really repented of it because really that kind of hatred can lead to disease and it is deadly. Because anytime you take, partake of hating, you can’t, you can’t allow yourself the luxury of hate because it will eat you up and take you down.
And everything is trying to convince you that you’re hate-able and that you’re not loveable. And when someone comes against you, they’re trying to evangelize you into hate. They’re trying to take you through, through the process to turn on yourself.
Right. There’s some… Usually it’s from someone bitter with God and unhappy with what He’s given. So…
Well I’ve, I’ve even, you know, been challenged, you know, physically. There, there… I could say, “Oh well I want, you know, whatever, blah blah, bigger muscles, whatever.” And, and God’s challenged me saying, “I made, I made this and I’m pleased. So what’s your problem?”
You know there’s…You know people can have body shaming issues. And it’s real easy. And, and especially when you’re at a gym or something like that, you know. And you can have body shaming issues like, oh, I just, you know, I don’t match the grade here or whatever. And, and, you know… And I really have been checked on it. God’s like, “What are you, what is your problem with what I created?” I’m like, “Oh, well, nothing, Sir! No, it’s just absolutely beautiful and it works perfect. So thank You very much. I love it.”
So… But there, there’s so many aspects of it. There’re so many aspects of self-love. And, and, and it does, you know, it sounds weird because it’s like “Oh, you love yourself!” It sounds selfish. It sounds odd but it’s not.
I literally, I literally have to love myself because I can’t go into the world looking for the world to love me because the world will never love me. But I can love myself and when I’m a full vessel of love, then I’m able to love and the, the world will respond back to me with love. But if I go into the world with, with a desire to take love. “Please love me, please love me, please love me!” I, I literally will be vanquished because that’s not the order. The order is you love you and then you go out and you love the world as yourself. Just as you said, “Love your neighbor as you love yourself.” And so first and foremost I have to be, I have to be full up in love on, of me. I have to… I am, I’m an awesome guy. I am! And I look in the mirror and I say, “I like who you’ve become.” It has been a long work. I’ve had to get through a lot of self-hatred. But I’m like going, “I like who you are and I don’t care what anyone says. I like… I think my jokes are funny. I don’t care if you laugh because I like my jokes.”
So… You know… And I’m, I’m really enjoying and celebrating me. I’m, I’m unique. I’ve got a lot of really cool things about me. And I know that for some people it may be a little over the top, but I like it. And, and then I can go from there and I can love others and I can, I can express that love and, and even when you start doing that people freak out. “Oh my God. Why are you loving me?” They think you’re trying to get something. “No, I’m full. I don’t need anything from you. I love myself and I love who I am and, and it’s an overflow. And if you want to be part of that splash, great. You can have some of it. But you don’t? It’s ok. I don’t need your love.”
Now sure we all need love. But when I stand in the place of, of first loving myself, I’m not coming in as a deficit. So…
Forgiveness and Love in a World of Hate – Episode #666 – Shulamite Podcast
When you purpose to forgive and to love, that forgiveness and love hits a world full of hate like a fully loaded freight train. You will be astonished! But there’s a catch: you have to love yourself. That’s not always easy but it’s never optional.