It’s easy to read the Bible and dismiss certain things because they don’t apply to you. You read a word like ‘hate’ and convince yourself that you don’t actually hate someone. You just really don’t like them and don’t want to have anything to do with them. But, no, you don’t hate them.
Oh, but you do. I mean, you might not like the way it sounds, especially pertaining to certain scriptures, but you can’t dumb down an attitude enough to make it okay. Just so you know where I’m coming from, hate (according to the dictionary) is ‘passionate dislike‘ or ‘a strong aversion‘. It’s pretty clear.
I’m not trying to pick on something for the sake of picking on it. I have a point. Small truths always lead to a larger one, so hang with me.
When you lay it out in plain speech, hate is an everyday occurrence. When you bring scripture into the equation, it’s saying murder is an everyday occurrence. There’s no shrugging that.
Anyone who hates a brother or sister is a murderer, and you know very well that eternal life and murder don’t go together. -1 John 3:15
So, fellow murderers, what do you do with that?
Consider the person you can’t stand. Why can’t you stand them? Is it some idiosyncrasy you don’t have the patience for? Or did they hurt you somehow?
If you’re ‘murdering’ someone for being annoying, then you have to consider what that says about you. Get your pride in check. Scripture doesn’t say God hates irritating people, but it does say He hates pride.
Pride and arrogance and the way of evil and perverted speech I hate. -Proverbs 8:13
“Do you get it, Mister Pride? I’m your enemy!” -Decree of the Master – Jeremiah 50:31
Are you ‘murdering’ someone because they hurt you? You say you have problems with trust, that you still have issues to work through. Can you work through these things when the only materials you have are what prisoners get? Did you follow that? When you ‘hate’, you are in a prison for murderers, shut off from truth by the cold bars of bitter suspicion.
If you think that only dealing with the ‘trustworthy’ will protect you from further pain, then you don’t have a clue about life. No one is trustworthy. Because of that, you have to rely on God to protect you from things that He doesn’t intend for you to endure. There are no accidents and you are not a victim. If you have suffered, it’s only for your gain. If you have lost, it’s only for what you’ve found. If you hang on to the ashes, then you can’t grab the beauty. You have no vision. You have no faith. If you can’t let go, then you can’t grab on.
The real question never pertains to another person. It doesn’t even have as much to do with you as you might think. It has everything to do with God. The part you play is in your submission. If He would allow you to suffer or go through the pain of loss, then do you still want to serve Him?
If you have a strong aversion to another person, then you have not considered God and how His sovereignty plays into your life. You can’t take anything at face value. Everything that happens is part of a much bigger purpose. You can’t sit around and micro-manage every detail of your life because you could be trying to throw a wrench into a system that has the momentum to throw the wrench right back at you.
If you don’t believe that God (who is good) is sovereign (omnipotent; possessing supreme, undisputed, ultimate, unaffected power) , then this isn’t going to be very comforting to you. Actually, most of the scriptures won’t make sense or be very comforting at all. I feel like I’m talking to the back of your head.
The thing about hate is it’s evidence that you are stumbling in the dark. You scared little rabbit, have you no faith? It gets so tiresome watching you beat your chest in pride or beat your head in defeat. Like a fly repeatedly flying into a window, you hear the truth, but only believe what you can see. You can bang your head against it all day long, but never see it. I’m screaming it, but you can’t hear me. You live in the here and now, but I’m not using that language. The only thing that can make you see is having your ‘here and now’ shattered.
Can you feel that? The only reason your life has been broken in to and your precious things shattered is so that you can glimpse God through the cracks. Don’t try to fix them, that’s the worst thing you could do. Because of what happens through the break, you learn to love the broken places more than the others.
I learned God-worship when my pride was shattered. Heart-shattered lives ready for love don’t for a moment escape God’s notice. -Psalm 51:16-17
Protecting yourself is evidence that you don’t trust God. The only reason you would avoid another person is because you are protecting yourself. The problem is, you have to murder another in order to do that. That’s when this next scripture is a bit more clear:
“…whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will save it.” -Luke 9:24 ESV
This is how we’ve come to understand and experience love: Christ sacrificed his life for us. This is why we ought to live sacrificially for our fellow believers, and not just be out for ourselves. -1 John 3:16