Don’t be Given to Hatred

July 21, 2016

Don’t be Given to Hatred

Hatred stirreth up strifes: but love covereth all sins” (Proverbs 10:12).

Hatred is something that does a slow burn in the heart. Occasionally even genuine Christians are guilty of it. It produces serious problems, not only for those who are hated, but also for the hater. The heart and soul of the hater is poisoned.

With increasing frequency in our day we are seeing or hearing of the aftermath of hatred. If hatred is allowed to take root and flourish in the human heart it is capable of resulting in some ugly, gruesome acts. People go out and kill people in cold blood. If they aren’t shot by the police they take their own life rather than face the shameful consequences of what they have done. Others blow themselves up with explosives and kill other innocent people in the act. Acts of terrorism are committed by people under the control of hatred.

The opposite of hatred is love. The Bible leaves us without any doubt as to which of the two should have preeminence. Strong’s Concordance of the Bible lists 186 verses where a form of the word hate is used. In contrast, there are 556 verses where a form of the word love is used. Again and again the Bible tells us to love . It never tells us to hate anyone. It even says, in Matthew 5:44, that we are to love our enemies. The Bible says, in Ecclesiastes 3:8 that there is “a time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace.” If we reference all the verses where the word hate is used in the Bible, we won’t find any that tell us to hate people. It tells us to hate evil. Numerous verses, however, tell us to love people.

Perhaps someone asks “How about a soldier who goes to war? Doesn’t he have to hate his enemy?” Perhaps, to a certain extent, he does. War is an ugly thing. Soldiers in combat are not in a real life situation. They go out with the intent of wiping out a wicked ideology and the only alternative is to take the lives of whose who have embraced that ideology. Sometimes it come to the point where war is the only way to restore peace to a nation or society.

Hatred, by its very nature, produces stress which isn’t good for our health. It depletes the bodie’s capacity to function as it should and leaves it vulnerable to weakness and diseases. It is detrimental to us.

Those who are given to hatred are a menace to society. They destroy peaceful relationships.

Our text verse says they stir up strife. They produce ill-will, turmoil, and suspicion in people groups. A prudent employer doesn’t hire someone if he knows that he or she is given to hatred. If he hires them without knowing that they are haters, he would probably fire them. Again, the hater is the loser.

A person given to hatred is often angry. Proverbs 22:24 says, “Make no friendship with an angry man; and with a furious man thou shalt not go.” Proverbs 29:22 also says, “An angry man stirreth up strife, and a furious man aboundeth in transgression.” Hatred doesn’t solve problems. To the contrary, it further aggravates problems. Giving in to hate groups is never a way to promote peace and harmony in society. Problems are solved when people sit down peacefully and look for solutions to their problems.

The farther people get from God the less they show the nature of God. I John 4:8 says. “God is love.” A return to walking with God will be a return to loving people.

Dear reader, you can’t afford to be a hater. The stakes are too high. You are sure to be a loser. It isn’t God’s way. If you are a child of God, he stands ready to forgive you and give you victory over hatred. If you aren’t a child of God, he will accept you as one of his if you will ask him to forgive you of all the sins you have committed against him and make you a child of his. (See also my article “Right Thinking About Hatred” under “Various Themes.”)

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