If someone has hurt you repeatedly & deliberately, your good feelings or even love for that person can die. It isn’t a matter of hating that person, or wishing them bad things. It’s a matter of feeling complete indifference towards them. If you hear that person is suffering, you feel nothing- no pity, no desire to help them, no concern.
It sounds strange if you haven’t experienced it, I’m sure, but I would guess it happens more often than people care to admit. After all, saying it makes you sound bad or un-Christian if you don’t care about the pain of another human being. In spite of how it sounds though, I don’t think it’s abnormal to reach this place in certain bad relationships.
People say the opposite of love is hate, but I believe it to be indifference. If you love or hate someone, you have very strong feelings for someone. If you love them, you are glad when good things happen to them or sad when bad things happen. If you hate them, you are sad when good things happen to them & rejoice when bad things happen. If you feel indifferently towards a person though, you literally feel nothing for that person. No joy or sadness at their blessings or trials.
I felt indifference towards my mother in-law, even when she was diagnosed with serious health problems then later died. Does that sound awful to you? I’m sure it does, but consider some background information before judging..
From the moment we met, I knew she didn’t like me. She was civil & even pleasant sometimes in front of others, but when we were alone, she was cruel. She constantly insulted me, my family, my pets, my car, everyone & everything that meant anything at all to me. She talked to me like I was stupid & not good enough to be a part of her family. Not long after we got married, she told me how terribly disappointed she was that Eric married me instead of an ex of his. (A woman who cheated on him & treated him badly, mind you). She told me I needed to get rid of my pets- I had too many. She called my granddad stupid for living on his own at 84 years old, even knowing how important he was to me & never having met him. Upon seeing me replace a burn out turn signal bulb in my car once, she told me I needed to get rid of it- it cost me too much money. (The new bulb cost $.97 & had been in my car for the entire 9 years I had it at that time. It was the only repair my car had needed in a long time.). One evening in 2002, she called to talk to my husband, but he wasn’t home from work yet. She screamed at me for this because she thought he should’ve been home at that time of night. She also yelled at me because his allergies were bothering him. This conversation made me realize she wasn’t someone I could work things out with, no matter what I did. She blamed me for things I had absolutely no control over- how could I work things out with someone like that? Anything I felt for her died then, & I cut ties with her shortly after.
So after reading that story, doesn’t it make sense that in extreme circumstances like this, your feelings for someone can simply die?
If you’ve experienced this, please know you’re not alone & there is nothing wrong with you. This simply means you’re human & have been through some unfair, cruel things. It doesn’t mean you are a bad person or even a bad Christian.
In spite of feeling this way, I started praying for my mother in-law a few months before she died. I didn’t want to, I frankly didn’t care about her salvation or anything else going on with her. However, I felt in my heart God wanted me to & doing so helped me to feel a deep peace. I would recommend you do the same, Dear Reader, for that person you feel nothing for. Praying for them may bless them as well as you. It can be difficult at first, but I promise- it gets easier the more often you do it. I believe it will give you peace in your heart as it did me.