The exhortation to love one another is the most basic Christian doctrine there is, and we are to be known for our love for one another. But some see us as haters. In fact, not long ago a woman came up to my husband and me while we were out to dinner, and she called him a hater. At the time I chimed in and contradicted her. He most certainly is not a hater in the way she claimed.
But as I thought about it later, I realized that actually he is a hater. And so am I. And so are you. And so is that woman. We all hate something. She apparently hates haters. But being a hater is not a bad thing in itself. It all depends on what it is we are hating.
God Himself hates lots of things. He hates sin. If He did not hate sin, Christ would not have gone to the cross to redeem us from it. God is the ultimate hater because He hates sin more than any of us do, and we would do well to hate what He hates more than we do. Consider these seven things that God hates:
- A proud look.
- A lying tongue
- Hands that shed innocent blood
- A heart that devises wicked plans
- Feet that are swift in running to evil
- A false witness who speaks lies
- One who sows discord among brethren (Proverbs 6:16-19)
Do you hate these things? Then I guess you are a hater too. And we are all in good company because our Maker loves the world so much, He hates sin so much, that He sent His only begotten Son into this world.
“But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” (Rom. 5:8)
If you love the right things, you will necessarily hate those things that threaten it. Do you love your liberty? Then you hate tyranny. Do you love the baby in the womb? Then you hate abortion. Do you love marriage? Then you hate adultery, fornication, and sodomy. Do you love the truth? Then you hate falsehood.
In this momentarily upside-down world, if you hate what God hates, you are called a hater. It reminds me of the man who was simultaneously screaming at my husband and flipping him off with one hand, while holding a large sign with the other that said, “No hate here!”
Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil; Who put darkness for light, and light for darkness; Who put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter! (Isaiah 5:20)
If you are called a hater, be sure it is for the same things that God hates. Just as we love imperfectly, so we hate imperfectly. But nevertheless, we are called to do both, and all to the glory of God.