There is one 4-letter word that I detest above all others. It is a word that when spoken sends shivers of annoyance down my spine. The same word is not allowed to come out of the mouths of my children. It is a word that I reserve for one thing and one thing only.
The word is “hate” and the thing is satan.
Why would this one word be more foul to me than every known curse word to man?
First of all, because it is used too freely. People use the same word to describe their dislike of certain foods as they do to slander specific people groups. I fail to see how one word can accurately convey your feelings on something of little or no importance and in turn be used to explain your opinion of another human being.
Secondly is the definition of the word itself. It implies a level of passion that I feel has been grossly misunderstood. Merriam-Webster dictionary defines hate as “an intense hostility and aversion usually deriving from fear or anger.”
This is why I do not use the word or allow my children to do so unless of course they are referring to the prince of darkness.
I hate the devil. I hate everything about him. I hate the way he attacks your mind causing you to doubt who you are in Christ. I hate how he uses people to do his evil work for him because he has no power without a vessel to work through. I hate how he turns people against each other causing dysfunction among family and friends who once stood united. I hate how he manipulates the weak when they are at their lowest, taking advantage of their brokenness.
I hate how he takes our focus off of people and puts it on their sin.
The last one is what I believe our biggest hurdle is as Christians. We allow ourselves to get so wrapped up in all the wrong-doings of those around us that we convince ourselves we hate them. We spit words of judgment and criticism with such vehemence that the last thing we look like are disciples of Jesus.
My challenge to you is this, if Jesus died for us while we were still sinners, should we not love sinners just as Christ loved us?
I find it perfectly acceptable to disagree with someone’s lifestyle and the choices they make. I see nothing wrong with not encouraging behavior that does not line up with the Word of God which is the source of Truth. Hate the sin, but love the sinner; for we are all sinners in need of a Savior.
We would be far more useful instruments of Christ if we showed love to our neighbors as opposed to spewing a message of hate.
“Whoever does not love does not know God, because God IS love.”
(1 John 4:8 NIV)