What I’ve Learned About Hate (Part One)

What I’ve learned about hate:

1.) Hatred, while appearing to be the all-consuming issue, really isn’t the issue. The issue is love.

2.) When seeking to be delivered/relieved by God from hatred, one should seek less to be saved from their hate, and rather, should seek to be rescued by God into His love.

3.) Hatred is typically, instead of merely being formed in a vacuum of lovelessness (or a lack of love), is actually a product of fear.

A thorough study of 1 John 4:7-21 bears this out.

7. Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God.

8. He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love.

9. In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him.

10. Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.

11. Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another.

12. No man hath seen God at any time. If we love one another, God dwelleth in us, and his love is perfected in us.

13. Hereby know we that we dwell in him, and he in us, because he hath given us of his Spirit.

14. And we have seen and do testify that the Father sent the Son to be the Saviour of the world.

15. Whosoever shall confess that Jesus is the Son of God, God dwelleth in him, and he in God.

16. And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us. God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him.

17. Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment: because as he is, so are we in this world.

18. There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love.

19. We love him, because he first loved us.

20. If a man say, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar: for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen?

21. And this commandment have we from him, That he who loveth God love his brother also.

Aside from being a great treatise on agape level love, it actually helps us see our hatred in a new light. First, we realize from v. 18 that perfected love, or love brought to maturity and made complete, casts out fear. Without this perfecting process, fear will remain, and thus will torment or torture the believer. Immediately after this profound point and a reminder of God loving us first, John goes directly into a hard saying about love versus hate. While the King James is a good version, there is much behind it that the Greek has to say, especially in verse 20.

Here would be a good translation: Suppose someone says, “I love God,” but continues to hate his brother/fellow man? He is liar, because he that continues to not love the brother/fellow man whom he has seen cannot possibly love the God whom he has not seen.

So, again, what is the real issue? It’s not hating one’s brother. The real issue is not loving God. Am I telling anyone here or anywhere else that they don’t love God? No. But perhaps their love for God is not true agape level love, or perhaps if it is, it has not yet been perfected. Such a trial, where God confronts someone about hating their brother/fellow man is likely the very thing God will use to perfect that which is lacking.

But why would God do such a thing? 1 John 3:14 has the answer.

14. …He that loveth not his brother abideth in death.

God wills such a trial into existence because He is trying to get the person to stop abiding in death. Such a trial may in fact be a saving act of God’s grace, which, should the trial not come, the offending party who is not loving God properly and is choosing to hate their brother/fellow man may be lost to eternity.

This is what Jesus said of such things: “So likewise shall my heavenly Father do also unto you, if ye from your hearts forgive not every one his brother their trespasses” (Matthew 18:35). This is the conclusion the Lord makes after teaching a parable about love, forgiveness, anger, etc. It’s the parable of the unjust steward. The question is, what is the “likewise” that the Father will do to a person who does not forgive? Verse 34, which is the end of the parable, teaches that the Lord delivered the un-forgiving steward over to be tortured. That is the end result. Fear produces unbelief/doubt, which causes resentment and frustration. This turns to anger/wrath toward the object of the resentment, which turns to unforgiveness, which leads to an un-perfected love, i.e. torment ending in spiritual death.

I can prove this. First, let us say that someone you love dearly has been terribly hurt by someone else. We’re talking abuse level hurt. Suppose that hurt continues for a long time and over time, you grow to hate the person responsible, so much so that you might even wish them dead. Even worse, you may come to think that murdering them is the right thing to do. Deep down, you never would, but the feeling is there. But that Christian part of you knows it’s wrong. So you try and pray it away, asking God to forgive you of your hate, etc. But all the while, you have it in your mind that the hurt done to your loved one is so severe, they’ll never recover. So, you continue to hate, even while you plead with God to take it from you.

Why can’t you seem to get deliverance? You’re trying to give up your hate. You’re asking God to forgive you and even to forgive the person who did the hurting, but nothing happens. Why? It’s because you are going after the wrong thing. The real issue is not believing God can heal the person that you love that’s been injured. You simply cannot fathom God’s power. The hurt is too bad, the injury is too deep, and not even the Creator knows what to do to help. That is unbelief, which is sin. And sin is merely not loving God. So, until you can believe God is capable of healing the wounds of those we love, we cannot love God enough to be delivered from our hatred of others.

But we continue to say and think that the spiritual wounds our loved ones (or even ourselves!) have suffered are too much to handle. This is a statement of fear. It fears that the hurt and heartache is so terrible, so vastly un-fixable that not even God can undo the damage. But it’s simply not true. All things are possible with God! God sent His Son into the world to be the propitation for our sins. Through His atoning death, God is able to reconcile all people back to Himself. In the process, the purpose of the Messiah is fulfilled:

18. The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised,

19. To preach the acceptable year of the Lord.

This is found in Luke 4, and is a prophetic fulfillment of Isaiah 61:1-2. But look at the rest of what Isaiah 61 promises:

3. To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the LORD, that he might be glorified.

4. And they shall build the old wastes, they shall raise up the former desolations, and they shall repair the waste cities, the desolations of many generations.

Through the Messiah, God can and will restore every damaged, desolate, abandoned, and injured part of a person’s life, if they want it.

But, it’s hard to believe that God can and will do such for a person we love who has been hurt. Instead we want God to smash and vindicate our anger through His righteous indignation. But God has been reconciled to the world through the death of His Son. The blood of Jesus Christ has propitiated the Father, meaning God is now in a favorable position to forgive. His wrath against sinners is placated. Now, in Christ, there is grace and truth for even the worst sinner to be saved. But, by your words, it is indicated that you don’t believe God can do this. You believe God will let your loved ones languish in a pit of damaged despair and spiritual wounding. So, until you can trust God and not fear that the damage done to them is un-healable, you can’t be delivered/relieved of your hatred. The root is there, in the unbelief. The hatred is merely the symptom.

I hope that I’ve helped someone. Peace and God bless. I’m praying for you, whoever you are that needs this.

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~ by votivesoul on 11/07/2012.

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