One of the strongest currencies of our day is hatred. It is used by politicians to get votes. It is exploited by the media to increase ratings. It is stirred up by civic leaders to retain power and keep constituencies. It is trafficked by extremists as a tool for bringing their warped vision of how the world should be to fruition. It is employed by social media zealots to gain followers, increase clicks, and get heard.
But for the Christian, hate is never an option.
The apostle John said as much in 1 John 3:11-15 (New International Version):
(11) For this is the message you heard from the beginning: We should love one another. (12) Do not be like Cain, who belonged to the evil one and murdered his brother. And why did he murder him? Because his own actions were evil and his brother’s were righteous. (13) Do not be surprised, my brothers and sisters, if the world hates you. (14) We know that we have passed from death to life, because we love each other. Anyone who does not love remains in death. (15) Anyone who hates a brother or sister is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life residing in him.
On this passage, the famed preacher Charles Spurgeon wrote this:
“What a warning this is against the evil spirit of hate, revenge, and all that kind of feeling! These things are not compatible with the possession of the life of God. Where hatred lives, there is no life of God in the soul. That evil must be shot to the very heart, by the arrows of almighty grace, or else we are not free from the dominion of the devil. Every man who hates another has the venom of murder in his veins. He may never actually take the deadly weapons into his hand and destroy life; but if he wishes that his brother were out of the way, if he would be glad if no such person existed, that feeling amounts to murder in the judgment of God. It is not the lifting of the dagger, nor the mixing of the poison, that is the essence of the crime of murder, it is the hate that prompts the commission of the deadly deed; so, if we never commit the crime, yet, if the hate be in our heart, we are guilty of murder in the sight of God, and eternal life cannot be abiding in us.”
Hate does not accurately reflect the character of Jesus or the nature of God; therefore, hate can never be justified by the follower of Christ.
For the sake of the Gospel and for the sake of the world, let us love one another.