When is it good to hate?
Hatred of people demeans, demoralizes, slanders and is spewed via social media in the form of a vile tweet, Facebook rant, video message and so on. It spreads like gangrene (₁).
There are countries and groups of people that hate America and Americans. They hate us so much that they are ready, willing and some able to destroy us. Their hate is spreading like gangrene.
Some Americans hate each other. Each year a few will act on their hatred by terrorizing others, killing some, and even themselves. More and more we see hatred displayed in acts of violence during what should be a lawful and peaceful rally or protest. Their hate is spreading like gangrene.
I suppose hate has been around almost since the beginning of time. I'm not sure how long Adam and Eve had in the garden before sin entered into the world. But, I do know that once sin entered the world, in came hatred.
Then Jesus showed up.
He instructs us to love our enemies, to honor all people, to forgive and so many instructions like this I cannot fit them all into a blog post. Hate has no place in the heart of one who is in a relationship with and follows Jesus.
I believe the only way to remove hate from a heart is to give it to Jesus. So, I don't think we'll rid the world of hate anytime soon, but we can be intentional and aggressive to teach and model what it looks like to give your heart to Jesus so you can love your enemies and honor all people.
It is good to see so many people take to social media to condemn hatred. Let's continue proclaiming and teaching that hatred for others is wrong. Proclaiming that it is a sin against God who created people and sent Jesus to die for all people. Hatred is divisive, destructive and evil.
Hatred for others should have no place in our hearts - ever. So, how do I know if hatred for others is growing in my own heart? How can any of us examine our own hearts and teach others to determine if hatred is hidden or growing there?
Hate what God hates (₂). What does God hate?
- Haughty eyes - thinking you are better than anyone else or a group of people.
- A lying tongue
- Hands that shed innocent blood
- A heart that devises wicked plans
- Feet that run rapidly to evil
- A false witness who utters lies
- One who spreads strife
I read what God hates, and my heart calls out: "Lord, when and how do I think more highly of myself than I should? When and how has my talk been deceitful or has it spread strife? Oh Lord, how often is my heart devising sinful plans."
I talk to myself a lot. I devise all kinds of plans in my head of what I will do and say. If these thoughts and plans are not coming out of a pure heart that's been filtered through prayer and God's word, then I can guarantee you it's like running after sin, devising sin and so on. These are not the actions of love for others. These are the actions of hatred toward others. I need to hate these things in my own heart so that hatred will not grow in my heart.
When is it good to hate? We should hate the things that God hates.
What a better place this would be if we would all agree to hate what God hates! To commit to:
- Hate what God hates
- Examine our own hearts
- Not do what God hates
- Teach others what God hates and help them live it out like we've learned to live it out.
It's a start! Let's do this. Let's take the above truths to the streets!
(₁) 2 Timothy 2:17
(₂) Proverbs 6:16-19