Depending on he context, prejudice and hate are synonymous. When aimed at people, they are not only exhausting, but crazy making! If you will notice a person who absolutely hates other people, they make themselves crazy! When a person decides, "I just will not like THOSE people nor accept them here or there or believe this about them" that person has to expend a lot of energy maintaining those "standards."
I'm witnessing that now with a coworker who has never really expressed high opinions of people of African descent or children with multiple disabilities no matter how mild. It's been worse this year with her medical situation as it's manifest in utter delusional expressions and behavior. Some of it has been directed at me--actually quite a bit of it. Then her para suffers but most of all the children in the class.One child in particular has had the brunt of her wrath. The principal and most of the staff is Black so she's in obvious paradise. But God sees all and fortunately, so do other teachers and the principal.
So as I pray and ask others to do the same. I see her hate eating away at her. For example, although I'm either all over the city seeing consult kids or in my office with mounds of paper work, her delusion tells her that I am in her classroom at every turn trying to talk her students into turning their affections away from her and towards me. Her delusions tell her I sneak into her classroom and I take things. Her delusions tell her that it's okay to take children on a field trip and bring a braille writer along to make one of them stay on the bus and do homework.
I know the enemy uses that hate but I believe she is more vulnerable right now because of her chemo treatments--so I pray for her while I avoid saying anything more than "Good morning." Anything more will lead the devil to use her delusions to interpret what I say as a threat, a taunt or anything other than how it was meant. Not that I get a "Good morning" back. Most often it's silence and a turned up nose. Some people have told me that they would not even greet her at all, but I continue to do so because regardless of her behavior, I have to keep my standards and treat her as a child of God. I cannot stoop to returning the devil's tactics or allowing him to use me as he does her. Besides, I cannot believe all of that evil is her. Having been through chemo this past year for a different form of cancer, I know my treatments were not as intense and the drugs used were not the same. The literature says chemo can affect the memory, personality, mood and energy level. I would forget a word in the middle of a sentence and my energy level is still not up to par. I believe her treatments have some affect on her personality, making her more delusional and very insecure.
I was also very fortunate to have many prayer warriors in my corner from church and in the prison ministry--even my buds over in Ireland. Perhaps she does not have his kind of network and that is very sad. Perhaps she needs this kind of network. So I pray for her to receive a blessing and I ask that any of the few people who read this will do the same.
Hate is a powerful emotion but when directed at people, it is not of God. One can tell that by what it does to people. But love is a stronger emotion and it IS of God. The Bible says God IS love. So let's combat hate with love and not reciprocate acts of hate with more acts of hate. Continue to show love even in the most difficult of times.
Here's an ironic bit: There was a substitute in this lady's class who introduced himself to me. Seems we know some of the same people. If they had met each other--well, I can only imagine.He is an older Black man and told me he knows that because of what he went through as a youngster, that he is prejudice. He says he tried to raise his children not to be because he hope they would not go through the same things he did.
I let him know those things don't matter to me and that my husband claims Italian heritage. Immediately he asked me if my husband had a certain type of personality based on the stereotypes he felt he knew Italian-Americans are to have. I guess I was playing with him a little bit because after I let him go on I said, "No, he's not like that and his whole family are very sweet subdued people." The I said, "Do you think it's because his dad's side is Irish?" Then he had a lot of Irish stereotypes to give me, that probably ran in my husband's blood to counteract he Italian blood. That's when I dropped the bomb that my husband was adopted.
I just thank God for more enlightened parents who raised me not to let such things as color, neighborhood, occupation, make a difference in whom I accept as a friend. If not, I would not have made all the friends God placed in my path for me to meet and love. I would not have heard His voice when he said, "This man is to be your husband" because I would have not been able to see past the color of his face and into his Christian heart.
Stay blessed. Stay in prayer.