It doesn’t take long, just listen to the TV or radio for a few minutes and you can hear the hate. Republicans and Democrats bashing one another, innocent people shot because of the color of their skin or the uniform they wear, internet forums blowing up with strong words, road rage and anger boiling over in any number of ways. From all the hate you hear and see in the world around us, you may wonder if we are becoming more or less civilized as a society. Do you get drawn into it or try to steer clear of any encounters that may raise your blood pressure? What do you hate?
But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The Lord does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” I Samuel 16:7
Hate groups have been around as long as there have been humans. It is an ‘us vs. them’ mentality with them being anything different from me, ranging from gender, skin color, age, weight, religion, sports team, wealth status, last name, etc. I’ve heard some of the most hateful things said at sports competitions. There are some groups that seek to be known such as the KKK, ISIS, white supremacists, and the like, while others are more subtle such as cliques as school. Hate can also focus on individuals who have wronged you in some way and then remains in the form of unforgiveness, often creating rifts in families. Surely we all have been wronged by an individual or business in the past and vowed never to deal with them again. Hate takes on many forms.
Let those who love the Lord hate evil, for he guards the lives of his faithful ones and delivers them from the hand of the wicked. Psalm 97:10
Is it ok for Christians to hate anything? Recently, I seem to have extreme dislike for invasive weeds and one particular tree called the tree of heaven (which I call the tree from hell). If you ask anyone what Christians are against, you might get a variety of replies from old school drinking, smoking, dancing, gambling, to younger generational replies of sex before marriage, drugs, gay marriage, abortion, sin, etc. Anything anyone ever criticized or condemned may make the list as well, whether legitimate or not. So instead of asking the world, let’s see what God hates, as we are to be like him.
There are six things the Lord hates, seven that are detestable to him: haughty eyes, a lying tongue, hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked schemes, feet that are quick to rush into evil, a false witness who pours out lies and a person who stirs up conflict in the community. Proverbs 6:16-19
Essentially, God hates sin, and so should we. The closer we are to God, the more we should be repulsed by sin in our own lives and in the world around us. While we should hold ourselves and our brethren to a higher standard, we may not expect the same from someone of the world who does not know God, but we are to be an example to them. This is why the world hates Christians, because we hate sin in our own lives, which serves a reminder to others of their own sin. So instead of repenting, it is easier to rationalize the sinful behavior and destroy the messenger. Why was Christ crucified? Not because of any wrongdoing, but because he served as a constant reminder to the people around him of their own sins.
If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first. John 15:18
You will be hated by everyone because of me, but the one who stands firm to the end will be saved. Matthew 10:22
Brothers, if we are not criticized or even hated because of our faith, we have to ask if others even know we are believers. Does it show? Christians should be known by their ability to love and forgive others, not for demonstrating hate. When others see any anger or hate in us, we are no different than the world around us. Let us demonstrate love to those who hate us, even as Christ did for those who condemned him. And they will know we are Christians by our love.
If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you. John 15:19
Strength and Courage in Christ,