Daily Wisdom

Meditations on the Book of Proverbs

18 Whoever conceals hatred with lying lips

   and spreads slander is a fool.

 

 Hatred is a powerful force, but that does not render it immoral. Wisdom herself, as personified in chapter 8, “hate[s] pride and arrogance, evil behavior and perverse speech.”  The question here is not whether we ought to hate, but rather what we ought to do with our hatred. Two foolish options are given here, both of which are destructive. The first is suppression, which leads to deceit, not least of the self. This is, as the saying goes, “like drinking poison and expecting someone else to die.” Venting hatred through slander may be an alternative to bottling it up, but it is just another form of poison.

 

 What then should be done with hatred? The first wise thing to do is contemplate it. What does your hatred tell you about yourself? About the things you value? Has anything good come from it? Though this may be uncomfortable, it is an opportunity to gain insight. Once this is done, instead of suppressing or venting it, decide how to properly deal with it. Is there someone you need to forgive or apologize to? Something you should let go of or embrace? Take control of your hatred, or it will take control of you.

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