from Amphibious Force Pacific Fleet – The Amphibian – 16 February, 1952
The soul of one who harbors hate is blighted. The better self has ceased to grow. Hatred and true happiness cannot live together – they are absolutely incompatible. One can no more nourish bitter anger and resentment against another individual and be radiantly happy in his own life than one could consume carbolic acid and avoid seared throat tissues. Hate turns upon the one who cherishes it. Someone has said, “Hatred is a luxury which intelligent men can’t afford.”
Christ, in teaching his disciples in in the Sermon on the Mount to “love their enemies,” was suggesting to them not an impossible ideal, but a practical necessity for satisfactory living. He was above all others understood human personality knew that love must be uppermost in the hears of His disciples.
Throughout the history of human conflict information arousing anger and hatred has been widespread. Personal experience and stories of treachery, wonton destruction, cruelty and violence have kindled our resentment and filled our hearts with anger. It is easy to give way to passionate hate toward those who commit such atrocities.
If the effect of hate were confined just to those who give it lodging its danger would not be so great. but in the final analysis its scope is broader than that. Hate begets hate! The wider its circle grows, the more it is fed in the human heart, the more damaging it is to human personality. Certainly it was with this desire in mind that we experience the fullness of life in which Jesus instructed us in His Way of Life.
God made man in His own image. He is a sacred creation in the sight of God and holds of favored place in all of creation. When man gives himself over, even in part, to cherished bitterness, he is doing immeasurable harm to his own inner life.
It is well to remember that in war the savagery of any group becomes apparent, and therefore we need not be unduly surprised when we see in our enemies traits which could cause us to hate them. But when we take out our feelings in blind fury we achieve no good, dissipate our energy, and lead only to further resentment.
Intense feeling is justifiable–if our lives are to be effective. But if that feeling is simply hatred, then it is mis-directed. Let us, therefore, direct our antagonism against evil in whatever form we confront it. We must resist it, we must subdue it! But, whatever safeguards we must employ against our enemies, let us never indulge in cherished hatred.