Jill Scott -one of my favorite R&B artists, poet extraordinaire, beautiful bold Black woman - was in concert here in HotLanta last night and I was there! Now, there are some people who say I look like her- I'm convinced it is just the light skin, freckles and locs that make them say that 'cause she is BEAUTIFUL and I just have my moments occasionally. hahaha. On her latest album, she has a song entitled HATE ON ME (which I must admit, when I first heard it and saw the video, I did not like it - thought it was too hard and harsh and written from a place of bitterness after her divorce - but it's grown on me because of the truth of its lyrics). Basically, the premise of the song is this: no matter what I do, there's always going to be someone who doesn't like it...or me, because of it. As she introduced the song last night, she said (something like this): "you know there are some people out there in your lives right now who are mad at you because you are here at the Jill Scott concert. They sitting at home, hating your guts because of where you are and what you are doing. There are people who hate you because of the clothes you were, or the car you drive, or the blessings you receive...And these are the people who say they love you - ain't that a trip?" And truer words have never been spoken. At least two people (my best friend from college and my cousin) told me last night that they "hated" me when I told them that I was on my way to (or at) the concert last night. I mean, they literally said the words, "Ooo, I hate you!"
Now, I am going to state that I know that both of these women love me, but I also believe that there is an element in truth in the words that each of them spoke to me last night. It is common, normal and human to look at what others have or are doing and be upset/jealous/mad - whatever emotion you wish to call it - if we are not doing the same thing...or blessed with the same attributes. I have a BEAUTIFUL (inside and out) girlfriend who I tell regularly that if she wasn't so nice and such a positive influence in my life - I'd hate her guts! (She was at the concert last night as well.) She is bold and beautiful and artsy and confident in her skin and she has the longest, prettiest, straightest, down to her waist hair - and ugh! - like I said, if she wasn't so genuinely nice and supportive and nurturing, we would not and could not be friends because of my jealous feelings. And then there is my godsister (my favorite person in the world) who can sing like an angel and preach like John the Baptist and is accomplished in her own right - another person who I could spend hours "hating on" if she wasn't all that she is to me. Suffice it to say, we all have our hangups and jealousies.
One lesson I have learned in life (and I'm still learning it): be content with what YOU have, what God blesses YOU with, what God allows to happen in YOUR life. There will always be someone smarter or prettier or with a better car/job/house/vacation destination/401K savings account. Stop looking over the fence into someone else's yard wishing you had what they have. That car may be leaking oil in the garage...that job may be slowing killing them with stress and demands...that house may be falling down around them or not be a haven (as all homes should be) because it is filled with the sounds of anger and distress. Nurture what YOU have...be thankful for the blessings YOU are given...and when it seems like your friends are getting more than you...just praise God that He is loving and generous enough to bless them with the desires of their hearts...just as He blesses you with yours.
Ok, so that is the "human" side of being "hated on". In the spiritual realm, the time is coming (and for some, has already come) when you, as a child of God, will be hated just because...just because you praise His name, just because you give glory and honor to Him for everything...just because you woke up. (doesn't it feel that way some times?) You will be reviled, persecuted, talked about..."hated on"...just because. Jesus tells us in Matthew 10:22: "And ye shall be hated of all men for my name's sake: but he that endureth to the end shall be saved." In other words, it is the natural order of things for men to hate you when you live your life according to His will and when you testify of His goodness to you. BUT, salvation is at the end of all the trials you go through for His sake...so, just hold on. Endure. Ultimately, it will be worth everything you go through.