“Anyone who hates a brother or sister is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life residing in him.” [First John 3:15, NIV]
Well friend, pour yourself another cup of fresh hot coffee and let us talk hate. Some would have you think that God wants you to rid yourself of all hate, but that is a lie. The need is for us to understand that the Bible teaches us to love and to hate. The problem is that in our sin we become confused on what and who we are to love and who and what we are to hate.
Hatred is a sentiment that can be either righteous or sinful depending on what it is that we hate, and depending on the motive causing us to hate. The Bible references that Christians are to love God, but the Bible also declares that we are to hate evil (Psalm 97:10), and that we are to even hate the assembling of those who do evil (Psalm 26:5), and we are to hate lies and the misrepresentation of the truth (Psalm 119:163). The more mature we become in Christ, the more we resemble Christ, and the more fully understand the love of God, the more we begin to hate hypocrisy, godlessness, and the evil within and of this world. Scripture warns us that hatred and bitterness can put an end to us. Hatred, bitterness, and prejudice can destroy our earthly life and even condemn one to everlasting punishment. God’s Word teaches that hate is an issue of the sinful heart of both male and female, and that anyone who hates a brother or sister is a murderer in the eyes of God (First John 3:15)! Hate knows no race, ethnicity, or social status. Therefore, Christians are instructed and urged to love one another, to keep short records of wrongs, and to forgive others. Scripture teaches that we are not to harbor bitterness or anger in our hearts.
First John 2:11 teaches that “anyone who hates a brother or sister is in the darkness and walks around in the darkness. They do not know where they are going, because the darkness has blinded them.” People who hate are blind to the truth of God’s Word. Earthly things blind them, and they need the Great Physician to remove the cataracts from their eyes so that they might regain their vision. In First John 2:15, John writes, “Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, love for the Father is not in them. For everything in the world – the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life – comes not from the Father but from the world.” Are monuments, molded by the hands of men and women, objects of this world? Are pieces of cloth, woven and sewn by the hands of men and women, the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, or the pride of life? Have we become so ignorant of the teaching of God’s Word that we “hate” because of earthly objects, rather than loving those created in the image of Creator God?
I challenge every Christian to do a study of “hate” as it is used in Scripture. Allow the Bible, God sacred Word, to help you better deal with the hate resonating through our society today. Allow Scripture to give you understanding of positive hate and negative hate, that you might gain wisdom on how to handle hate by drawing on God’s wisdom and the power of the Holy Spirit!
Prayer: Lord, I do not ask that you stop me from hating, but rather that you teach me to hate that which you hate. Teach me to love all people regardless of their race, ethnicity, or social status. Teach me to respect every man and women I meet as one made in your image, and who is struggling in life just as I struggle. Help me to listen to the depth of the words people speak and from their words to sense the pain and struggles they experience. Lord, grant that I may have your love for others, being willing to lay down my life for the Kingdom of God, if that be necessary. Grant that I might be a peacemaker. Amen.