Is There Room For Hate?

Hate is birthed in many ways, it is the destination of many roads. Surprisingly, there is a place for it. It is right and good to hate the evil we see in this world, the exploitation, the greed, and nearly countless other sources to the pain mankind knows. There is a place for hate but there are places hate does not belong. God’s Law is written on our hearts (Romans 2). We all see good and evil, we all appreciate light and darkness. Often our inability, our indifference toward personal sin, our evil, and our darkness births hate. It is good to hate sin, it is good to hate the barriers that poison our relationships with others, with God, and even ourselves. But it is never good to hate people. Mankind is created in the image of God (Genesis 1:27), not physically but our heart, mind, and soul reflect this truth. We can reason, we are able to appreciate beauty, we are able to process the world we live in philosophically, logically, artistically, and often the appreciation goes beyond the metaphysical.

The fact that every person in this world is created in the image of God demands I value each and every person. God has called His followers to love the Lord our God with all our heart and with all our soul and with all our mind and with all our strength (Mark 12:31). In that same statement we are told to love our neighbor as ourselves (Mark 12:31), these are the greatest commandments. Why? Because all commands depend on these two actions as foundation. Our calling and purpose in Christ is dependent on these two commandments…Love God with all you are and love others with all you have. If you hate a person, you hate a person created in the image of God and in turn you have hated God. If you hate a person you obviously are not loving them as yourself. There is a very real spiritual battle occurring and there is no room and no time to hate people. It is not easy to live like this, it is not always easy to love like this, but it is our calling in Christ; our purpose.

Often times, people look at the world around them and shake their head because of the sin they see in others. They shake their head because people are unreasonable, people are greedy, people are racist, people are sexist, people are bigots, people are gay—let me say this, people are people! We are fallen. Every one of us has sin in us, every one of us is imperfect. I shouldn’t look down on you or hate you because you sin differently than I do. We are all born with sin in us, it is innate to our being in this fallen world. None of us are perfect and all of us fall short (Romans 3:23). Do not let your frustration with the sins of others drive you to hate them. Do not let your opinions drive a wedge between you and others. You can have your opinions, you can be who you are, you can be passionate about causes but do not let these things hinder or destroy relationships!

I hate the sin that resides in me. I hate it when I realize I have been selfish, I hate it when I realize I have been prideful, I hate it when I lust, I hate it when I covet, I hate it when I alienate, and we all should hate it when we sin in these ways and others. Often times when we hate the sin in us and when we hate pieces of us, it morphs, it evolves beyond a healthy hate and turns into a hate that is toxic. It is healthy to hate my sin but if it brings me to hate myself it has made a turn to the unhealthy. It is okay to hate the sin in me but when it brings me to hate others because they are involved in that sin or even different sins, the hate has become toxic. In my studies and experience I have found assurance in Christ. I do my best. I fall short, I sin, but I do not accept that sin; I fight it the best I can. Then, before that failure becomes toxic toward my relationships with myself, God, or anyone else I remember…God has done the rest. I will not be content with my brokenness, I will not let selfishness rule me or other sins drive me, but when I fall, when I fail, when I am reminded I am messed up, I remember Christ died for me. Jesus was perfect and died for me because I’ll never be perfect. He died for everyone, He died for all of us while we were broken, while we are sinners, while we are jacked up and imperfect, He died for us because He loves us (Romans 5:8). Do your best, God has done the rest!

Do not let your brokenness cause you to hate others. Do not let your uncertainty drive you to hate others. Do not let your experiences breed hate toward others. Any form of religion or any worldview that brings you to hate in an unhealthy way is wrong. If you see an unhealthy hate in your heart it is time to reevaluate, it is time for further introspection. Christ has not called you to hate people. Jesus has called you to hate the things that separate man from God and to address the issues you have, then help others with their issues from what you have learned (Matthew 7:3). Right now people are hurting, confused, angry, and in shock…we are called to endure with them and to love them (Romans 12:15). If we can get beyond our politics, our hedonism, and legalism– if we can do this, the things God will do can amaze you…they can amaze the world.


What Is Love? Baby Don’t Hurt Me.

As a kid I learned love and marriage goes together like a horse and carriage. Originally, I thought the song said, “a horse and carrots.” My mother had to explain the song to me. I learned many lessons about love and marriage during my childhood, in the early years of my rearing I began to see marriage as an expendable resource, a union of convenience. Rather than marriage being complementary like a horse and carriage, it appeared to be more like a horse chasing a carrot, never finding satisfaction or sustenance.

During my years in the Navy I saw marriages begin and end, some due to the toll of military life, others due to the broken and selfish nature of mankind. I saw many people who were married treat marriage as nothing more than an at home benefit, a contract with loopholes. Still, some remained true to their vows; in particular I remember two petty officers above me who were great examples. These two men showed me the real value and purpose of marriage and it was revealed in more than their words. I thank God for the two men I speak of and the example they set for a young ordnanceman.

In college, I had a professor that said love occurs when two people say and do the right things for the right amount of time…and it love crumbles when they stop doing and saying the right things for the right amount of time. The professor reminded us of the value God has placed on marriage and the fact that marriage it is not to be entered lightly–it should not be lived indifferently.

Through our short ten years of marriage I have learned first hand love is more than an emotion, it’s an action. There are times she has wanted to wring my neck and there are times we wanted to give up. Thankfully, love is an emotion and an action, but even surpasses action. Love is a state of mind, heart, and soul that is strengthened by emotions, displayed in actions, and anchored in Christ. I’ve seen my marriage nearly crumble before my eyes due to negligence, selfishness, sin, harbored anger, and quite honestly being ill prepared. Today I see a union, a relationship, a friendship, that continues to grow and keep me looking ahead.

I saw it all begin to crumble and I saw Christ begin to repair it and make it something greater than before. I would be wrong to deny credit to God and His grace, it took us working and talking but it took the hand of Christ to bond the rocks together again. What is my point then? Don’t give up, love is complicated. Love is many things, look at 1 Corinthians 13 for a refresher in regards to love. We cannot learn this lesson in seclusion, sometimes love hurts. We cannot learn all about love in leading a solitary life, after all, love is displayed in action.

In life there are times we drive in the rain, fog, and darkness and we need help to see, we cannot see love clearly without the headlights on and wipers going. Jesus is the Light and Scripture is our wipers. People, timing, and other variables will enter your road, don’t let them get you off the path, don’t let them distract you, don’t let the variables kill you or your marriage. Maybe you have already let those variables in your road hurt or tear your marriage or love… hit the brakes, throw it in reverse and return to Christ and His Way.