I remember a couple of years ago writing a blog post with the straightforward title of Stop Hatin’ on Joel Osteen. This post received lots of comments and still receives hits daily. If I’m being totally honest, there is one thing that irritates me as a Christian and a Pastor; that’s seeing Pastors, Christians and Ministries hatin’ on other Pastors, Christians and Ministries. This type of behavior is not of God and needs to stop.

According to the urban dictionary, “hatin’” is defined as: Sayin’ bad things about or puttin’ someone down. This can be for various reasons: because they have something that you want, you think you have all of the answers or you think you know what they are all about — a player hater.

I think a key consideration in that definition is the fact that people think they have all the answers and think they know the hearts of others. As Christians I think it’s important to embrace the Old English Idiom of The Benefit Of The Doubt as a fundamental life principle. It simply means: to believe something good or positive about someone, rather than something bad or negative, when you have the possibility of doing either.

It seems to be a more common occurrence to assume all of the negative or bad about so-and-so, when people don’t even know so-and-so. It’s a much better place to start from zero, assume the positive and give people The Benefit Of The Doubt. I’m overjoyed by the mere fact that Jesus gives us The Benefit Of The Doubt.

Often times these negative thoughts occur in spite of the fact that there is an opportunity to think or speak positive about others and simply give them The Benefit Of The Doubt. It irritates me when people rip legitimate pastors, doing legitimate ministry when they can choose to give them the benefit of the doubt. Personally, I’m not going to spend enough of my time and energy watching, listening to, or following a pastor whose ministry I don’t like—especially not enough time and energy to formulate a true negative opinion.

Remember, we are all part of the body of Christ and we’re all necessary to reach all people for Jesus. Pastors and Christians hatin’ on one another is a playground for the enemy who is crouching at the door trying to kill, steal and destroy anything that matters to the heart of God. The local church, local church leaders and meaningful Christian relationships matter to the heart of God.

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