People around us can evoke negative feelings. The question is how we coop with these feelings. What does the Bible say about hate? Is hate and dislike the same according to the Bible?
Hate is a very strong emotion
Hate is usually an intense emotion with strong feelings of hostility. If we are talking about hating someone this will mean that you have a strong negative feeling about them, you don’t want to meet them, you can’t think any good about them. If they have hurt you in some way, you don’t want to forgive or forget what they have done.
Things God hates
If we are going to talk about what the Bible says about hate, God tells us there are seven things he hates; Proverbs 6:16-19: “There are…. seven that are detestable to him: haughty eyes, a lying tongue, hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked schemes, feet that are quick to rush into evil, a false witness who pours out lies and a person who stirs up conflict in the community.”
Hate the sin, not the sinner
For us we should hate sin when we see it in ourselves, and we need God’s mercy, love and forgiveness whenever we are guilty of these things. We probably have no problem understanding that, but our biggest problem is when we are faced with people doing these kind of things to us. When we are slandered, lied about, humiliated, have been on the receiving end of someone stirring up disunity and conflict, or have been unfairly treated. Our first reaction is more than likely to hate those people and maybe even try to respond in the same way as they have treated us.
As a christian we have a high standard
If we tell this to someone who is not a Christian, they would fully understand our hate and hostility toward those who have wronged us. But as Christians our attitude should be completely different. If the person who has done some or all of these things claims to be a Christian – what then? The Bible clearly states that we cannot say we love God and hate our brother or sister in Christ.
Revenge is up to God
There is only one action that God desires of us – to forgive and to love them, and to leave the revenge and seeking a righteous outcome to God. For some of us we may never see in our lives that God did anything to take revenge or vindicate us, but we can be sure that God sees all the injustice done against us and will use it somehow to turn out for good in our lives.
What Would Jesus Do?
Hebrews 12:3 tells us “Consider (Christ) who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart”. Jesus was on the receiving end of all of those 7 things that He hates in Proverbs. How did He cope with it? “Father, forgive them, they don’t know what they are doing” (Luke 23:34). And in Luke 6:27-29: “Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you, if someone strikes you on one cheek, turn to him the other also. If someone takes your cloak, do not withhold your tunic as well…”
Hate will destroy us
When we set out to pray for those who hate us, persecute and mistreat us – they will not immediately change and become nice people, but it is us that will change, and the Lord will have won a victory in our heart. Hate, when given a place in our hearts, will eat away at us and destroy us. So we need to make sure that hate is something we never allow to take hold of us.
Dislike can be protective
Dislike is a feeling of discomfort. Often when someone has hurt us really badly we are uncomfortable around them and are fearful to trust them again. Dislike can lead to hate so we need to watch out, but avoiding people or situations that have caused us pain or hurt is probably a wise thing unless there is complete reconciliation.
So – Hate is something we must avoid, and ask forgiveness for whenever we feel it welling up. Dislike is a feeling that could protect us from being hurt.