Never hate. That’s what we taught our children as we raised them up. In fact, “hate” was a word we did our best to not allow into our vocabulary where it pertained to human beings. ‘We don’t ever hate another,’ we would always tell our four children. Hate is the strongest form of disdain or contempt when used with regard to other people. On the contrary, God’s word is very clear that we’re to love one another, even those who don’t love us and treat us poorly.
Mt. 5:43-44 43“You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy,’ 44But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you…”
Psalm 45:7 says, “You love righteousness and hate wickedness.”
Psalm 97:10 says, “Let those who love the Lord hate evil,”
While we are instructed to love one another, as believers, as redeemed recipients of the “new life”, cleansed free of sin by the shed blood of Jesus, we are also instructed to “hate (that’s right, “hate”) evil”. As Solomon says in Eccl. 3:1,8, 1“There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven: 8a time to love and a time to hate…”
And why not? If ever there was anything worthy of hatred, it is evil. Evil, the source of sin is, always has been, your greatest enemy. What terrible harm it has brought you. If it only had its way with you, you would be eternally separate from God and His wonderful grace that has in fact saved you. In those years before you came to Christ, sin had you blind to the beauty of the Lord and His love for you. Evil had you convinced that the things of God were foolishness, and made you deaf to His calling. Sin made your conscience numb to a sense of wrong. Evil turned your thinking inward to where all that was important to you was self-satisfaction and insatiable pride. There was no compassion for others – only for what would benefit you.
Oh, what a wretched excuse for humanity you were and what a path of destruction “evil” was leading you along before Jesus came to your rescue! Were it not for the saving grace, for the amazing love of Jesus, oh how lost you, me, all of us would be! We were on a raft headed out to sea, thinking we were going in the right direction, not caring that we were doomed to death, when along came Jesus and saved us; turned us toward shore, and guided us to safety.
1 Corinthians 6:11 And that is what some of you were. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.
And don’t think the battle is over! Evil, sin, is still out there, lurking, ready to pounce…
1 Peter 5:8 Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.
Therefore, “hate evil”, Christians. Don’t get apathetic. Evil can make itself look like just another part of the landscape. When the majority of our society is evil, then evil appears pretty normal…pretty acceptable.
What is worthy of our hatred is that from which Christ saved us, lest we ever, foolishly, apathetically, stumble back into its grasp again.
Romans 12:9 Hate what is evil; cling to what is good.