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15 June 2024
Loving Jesus By Hating Others
Gospel Spotlight

Loving Jesus By Hating Others

May 31, 2024

By Glenn Miller

GOD’S WORD: “The one who says he is in the light and yet hates his brother is in the darkness until now. The one who loves his brother abides in the light and there is no cause for stumbling in him. But the one who hates his brother is in the darkness and walks in the darkness and does not know where he is going because the darkness has blinded his eyes.” – 1 John 2: 9-11

Sometimes when I read certain posts on social media from those who profess to be Christians, there is something inside of me that causes me angst. It wasn’t until I was lying in bed last night did the Holy Spirit wake me up and cause me to fall on my knees in prayer and study His Word to validate what I am about to write. May the words that I am about to write be pleasing to you, O lord, my Rock and my Redeemer.

Many Christians feel they have the right to hold grudges or animosity against certain people. They actually HATE those who espouse social and political issues other than theirs, particularly Non-Christians. If someone disagrees with them or their spiritual, political or social beliefs, they feel vindicated when they hold feelings of ill will towards that person or persons. Granted, there are scriptures in the Old Testament where King David and others speak of their hatred for the wicked. This hatred for the wicked was expressed under the inspiration of God in the scriptures.

“I hate the assembly of evildoers, and I will not sit with the wicked.” – Psalm 26:5

But Jesus Christ came to bring Israel and mankind into a new covenant. Under the provisions of this covenant, he gave believers a very different commandment regarding those who do evil or are enemies.

“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor, and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, love your enemies, and pray for those who persecute you in order that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven; for He causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. For if you love those who love you, what reward have you? Do not even the tax-gatherers do the same? And if you greet your brothers only, what do you do more than others Do not even the Gentiles do the same? Therefore, you are to be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.” – Matthew 5: 43-48

Often the words that spew from our mouths – even in thinking that our hatred against another is pleasing to Jesus – says more about what’s in our hearts than we know. If you say something long enough, it can become the expression of what you feel in your heart.

We must guard our hearts and our words. A time of great persecution lies ahead for all true believers, and God is calling us to be like His son Jesus. We must love and forgive even those who irritate, harm or act with malice towards us. It only takes small measures of leaven (sin) to cause the lump of dough in our heart to rise with pride and anger. Now is the hour to correct our thoughts, and be careful as to what we think, say and do. If we harbor hatred in our hearts for ANYONE, then we cannot be used as vessels of peace and love and, in my opinion, cannot receive God’s blessing and favor.

There is a cure for hatred… love and forgiveness. These terms are not just convenient Christian rhetoric, but the very essence of what our life should reflect.

“The mouth of the righteous is a fountain of life, but the mouth of the wicked conceals violence. Hatred stirs up strife, but love covers all transgressions.” – Proverbs 10:11-12

In short, a Christian is NOT allowed to hate other human beings. In fact, God requires us to love others, even our enemies, and those who mistreat us or disagree with us. Jesus is the ultimate model to follow, and in his last moments, as he hung beaten and tortured, he forgave those who were responsible.

Perhaps the words to an old praise song are true: “They will know we are Christians by our love.”

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