Right Thinking About Hatred

November 10, 2014

Right Thinking About hatred

            Hatred isn’t always a sin.  Ecclesiastes 3:8 tells us that there is a time to hate.  “A time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace.” In this regard, we need to know how to tell time.  A study of the Bible will teach us how to discern between a time to love and a time to hate.  We need to use some restraint with nearly everything we do.     Proverbs 25:28 says, “He that hath no rule over his own spirit is like a city that is broken down, and without walls.”  A spirit that isn’t controlled can do some violent and foolish things.

A biblical interpretation of the word hate doesn’t always mean what we think of it today. Luke 14:26 is an example of that.  “If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple.”  A similar example is found in Deuteronomy 21:15.  “If a man have two wives, one beloved, and another hated, and they have born him children, both the beloved and the hated; and if the firstborn son be hers that was hated.”  Most commentaries say that the word hate that is used here means to love less.  We can go to extremes, both with our love and our hatred.

It can’t be said that God never hates people or people groups.  Psalm 11:5 tells us who God hates.  “The LORD trieth the righteous: but the wicked and him that loveth violence his soul hateth.” It is hard to find verses in the Bible that give us authority to hate people or people groups.

Instead of hating people, we should follow the example of what David learned from the precepts of God.     We find that in Psalm 119:104.  “Through thy precepts I get understanding: therefore I hate every false way.”  Proverbs 8:13 says, “The fear of the LORD is to hate evil: pride, and arrogancy, and the evil way, and the froward mouth, do I hate.” Instead of hating those who do evil, we should hate the evil they do.  When our children were toddlers, they sometimes misbehaved, as most children do.  We didn’t hate them when they did wrong.  We hated their evil way.  When we punished them it wasn’t an act of violence against them.  To the contrary, it was an act of love.  It was to rescue them from their evil way.

Even if a country goes to war, it shouldn’t be stimulated by hatred toward the enemy country or countries.  It should be because they have adopted a false ideology that they are attempting to force on others and it can’t be tolerated.  They have to be attacked with force that results in death and destruction, but the reason is to force them to see that their evil way will not be tolerated.  The end should not be to annihilate them as a people group.  They should be informed that hostilities will cease as soon as they recognize their evil way and turn from it.

Hatred provokes rage and violence.   It causes people to lose control of their spirit.  They become like the man we spoke of earlier in Proverbs 25:28.  Hatred is destructive, whereas love is constructive and corrective. Amos 5:15 tells us that we should “hate the evil, and love the good.”  It is difficult to persuade people to do right by hating them.  That is called coercion.  They will feel the need to defend themselves.  If we show love to people it is much more likely that they will accept what we are trying to teach them.

To show love is God’s way as we see in John 3:16.  “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”

There are times and reasons for hatred, but most often we should be motivated by love.  If someone commits a crime, the reaction of some who know him is to curse him and condemn him.  Galatians 6:1 tells us what our reaction should be.  “Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted.” By means of meekness and love we need to try to lead him to repentance and turn from his evil way.

The Christian way is not to instigate hatred.  Preachers don’t go to the pulpit and preach hatred.  God’s way is to love, even our enemies.  “But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you”  (Matthew 5:44).  Proverbs 10:12 says, “Hatred stirreth up strifes: but love covereth all sins.”

If you have questions or comments you can communicate with us at the following E-mail address:  rusandmargaretgeorge@windstream.net









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