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Hating Americans

25 Jun 16
Anne Russell
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one comments

In 2012, I went with a small team to Kenya for three weeks. We spent time in some local churches, teaching pastors, teachers, and students. I loved my time with these brothers and sisters in Christ. They seemed unburdened by possessions, friendly and open and humble. When I returned home, however, I wasn’t encouraged by their faith, I was busy hating Americans.

I saw that America (or what I saw of America) wasn’t full of poverty, so I assumed that Americans were greedy and materialistic. I saw that many Americans, saved or not, were “worse than” the limited view of Kenyan believers that I had, so I assumed that Americans were all evil people, especially compared to Kenyans. I took a little information and made American into “hell” and anywhere else into paradise. I lived in my world of hate for months until God slowly began working on my heart.

First, I began to actually look at Americans. I read the book The Kingdom of Heaven is Not About Eating or Drinking, a true story of a family who moved from America to Kenya live as missionaries. They weren’t living as greedy, horrible people; they were living as godly, humble people. I met people in my church who were living on mission in America, and not just living for themselves. I began to see that Americans are not all self-centered. By the grace of God, Americans can be sanctified, just like Kenyans can.

Then I began to think, maybe Kenyans can sin, just like Americans can. The Kenyan idol was crumbling. I realized that people sin regardless of geography. I sought to love American sinners more, but I still hung on to my anger at American Christians. How dare they claim to love Jesus and live in such wealth, I thought, while Kenyans live in poverty? I knew that this wasn’t godly, true thinking, but my hatred needed an object.

Finally, the hate began to die. I heard this message all at once from several lectures and sermons, from friends and mentors, and from the Bible: “You cannot serve the Lord if you hate His Church.” I realized that my sinful attitude was taking people that God called valuable, and calling them evil. I was not being grateful for Kenya believers, I was jealous of where they were born. Over the past year and a half, I began to stop hating Americans, and instead started loving them as God’s creatures. I am not perfect at this, but I am learning more and more that “he who loves his brother abides in the light,” and that this includes my American brothers. And hate is exhausting.

1 Comment

  1. joe July 12, 2016 at 9:43 pm Reply

    your missionary trips have been somewhat guarded or kept in a bubble . Kenya is far from paradise, it is known more for its brutal murderous police, rape, carjackings, corrupt politicians, and rampant heroine addiction. watch some international news, you have internet access.
    youre also a bit out of touch if you think most americans live in wealth.
    its intriguing that this religion that you seem to think is beneficial, is causing hatred and turmoil for you.

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