Love Your Neighbors, even the haters

Have you seen this bumper sticker?

There are a few different versions out there about what people mean by putting this on their vehicles.

Some people think it is similar to the other sticker or t-shirt that says, “Haters make me famous.” It’s kind of like saying, “I’m getting lots of attention. Yay me.” Maybe I am getting attention because I’m doing something that stands out, or because I have some- thing that others want. Either way, I’m being noticed by others.

In that version, the bumper sticker might just be a way for some people to be smug or to brag about themselves.

Others think it may be a method of self-motiva- tion: in the face of all the haters, I’m still going to be myself (or to live my life the way I want to)! In that sense, the sticker is a statement of celebration; “hat- ers” provide us an opportunity to better ourselves, as we rise above it all.

The first time I saw the bumper sticker, I took it at face value. I took it to mean, “even if someone is go- ing to hate, I am going to love.” I understood that not as a brag or boast, but a statement. Hate overcomes love.

It’s a good principle, and definitely a Christian one.

No matter what wrongs are done to me, I will still keep loving. No matter what difficulties others may put in my way or how much my good work is sabotaged, I will still keep going, and refuse to hold a grudge.

In fact, facing hate provides me an opportunity to love others, which itself is an opportunity to become a better version of myself.

It’s motivation, but for the right reasons.

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