Earlier this month, David Murray posted a list entitled 10 Ways to Hate People. The list struck me, especially since these sins are all too common among those who profess to know Jesus Christ. The list has come back to my mind a number of times. Therefore, I decided to expand on David’s list simply by adding a few Scriptural supports, which drive the truths deeper into our hearts. May the Lord truly work His transforming grace in each of us so that we will practice the better way, the loving life!
- Begrudge their success. “Love is patient and kind; love does not envy” (1 Corinthians 13:4). “Let us not become conceited, provoking one another, envying one another” (Galatians 5:26).
- Blacken their name. “A good name is to be chosen rather than great riches, and favor is better than silver or gold” (Proverbs 22:1). “The one who conceals hatred has lying lips, and whoever utters slander is a fool” (Proverbs 10:18). “Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice” (Ephesians 4:31).
- Desire their failure. “But do not gloat over the day of your brother in the day of his misfortune” (Obadiah 1:12).
- Ignore their graces and gifts. “For the body does not consist of one member but of many….The eye cannot say to the hand, ‘I have no need of you,’ nor again the head to the feet, ‘I have no need of you.’ On the contrary, the parts of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable, and on those parts of the body that we think less honorable we bestow the greater honor, and our unpresentable parts are treated with greater modesty, which our more presentable parts do not require. But God has so composed the body, giving greater honor to the part that lacked it, that there may be no division in the body, but that the members may have the same care for one another. If one member suffers, all suffer together; if one member is honored, all rejoice together” (1 Corinthians 12:14, 21-26).
- Suspect their motives. Biblical love “always trusts” (NIV) or “believes all things” (1 Corinthians 13:7). “So whatever you wish that others would do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets” (Matthew 7:12).
- Rejoice when they fall or fail. Love “does not rejoice at wrongdoing” (1 Corinthians 13:6). Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep” (Romans 12:15).
- Refuse their confession. “Then Peter came up and said to him, ‘Lord, how often will my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? As many as seven times?’ Jesus said to him, ‘I do not say to you seven times, but seventy-seven times.’ [Read the full context and Jesus’ terrifying warning in Matthew 18:21-35]. For a similar warning, read Matthew 6:14-15. Finally, read Matthew 5:21-26, and consider how “the silent treatment” is a manifestation of deep anger, hatred, and murder of the heart.
- Highlight only their defects. Even though the apostle could have chosen to write only of the Corinthians’ errors and sinful ways, he chose the road of love instead, which highlighted the evidences of grace in them. “I give thanks to my God always for you because of the grace of God that was given you in Christ Jesus, that in every way you were enriched in him in all speech and all knowledge—even as the testimony about Christ was confirmed among you—so that you are not lacking in any gift, as you wait for the revealing of our Lord Jesus Christ, who will sustain you to the end, guiltless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Corinthians 1:4-8). For more on this topic, read Sam Crabtree’s excellent book Practicing Affirmation.
- Despise their callings and roles: “We ask you, brothers, to respect those who labor among you and are over you in the Lord and admonish you, and to esteem them very highly in love because of their work” (1 Thessalonians 5:12-13).
- Take vengeance upon them: “Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, ‘Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord’” (Romans 12:9). “Repay no one evil for evil, but give thought to do what is honorable in the sight of all. If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all” (Romans 12:17-18).
If we are honest, each and every one of us is guilty of having some hate in our hearts, at least at times. Let us repent, today, ask the Lord to fill our hearts with the love of Christ, and actively put on love (Colossians 3:14). Jesus died in our place and rose from the dead in order that we may no longer live for ourselves, but for Him (2 Corinthians 5:15).
Consider one final, sober warning from the apostle John: “At the same time, it is a new commandment that I am writing to you, which is true in him and in you, because the darkness is passing away and the true light is already shining. Whoever says he is in the light and hates his brother is still in darkness. Whoever loves his brother abides in the light, and in him there is no cause for stumbling” (1 John 2:8-10).
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