GOD IS LOVE!
Though I totally agree with that statement (God is love)–I mean completely! What does it mean? What does it look like in our day-to-day walk?
We hear so many people in today’s world believe with all their hearts that if they follow the God of Heaven, the Christian God, that all they need to do is LOVE– period. I agree that we are called to love people. There is no doubt in that comment. Again, what does that look like? Does it mean that we are to accept everything that everyone is doing because we LOVE them?
I believe there is a gray place that people fall into. I have heard some people explain it as “sloppy grace”. It is a place where the love of people gets mixed in with acceptance of sinful practices. That area isn’t just gray, it is muddy, at best. Eventually truth and love become loose words that turn into tolerance. Is tolerance bad? Well, it probably depends on what you are tolerating. It can be a deceptive policy.
“The silence of tolerance can quickly morph into endorsement.” (Lisa Bevere)
Then you hear the statement, “love the people, hate the sin”. That is a great concept, but then again we have to ask ourselves, how do we put that into practice?
I have been reading the book, “Adamant” by Lisa Bevere. In her book she has one chapter titled, “Adamant in Love” explaining how much our Lord loves each of us. His love is eternal and doesn’t flinch or fade. The very next chapter is titled, “Adamant That We Love“. Of course it is just as the title describes. We are to love others, which is not always easy. Sometimes we have to just love others by faith. In other words, we may not always “feel” like it but we take a hold of God’s love and ask him to help us.
But the next chapter is the one that caught my attention. It is titled, “Adamant in Hate“. She begins this chapter by quoting Charles Spurgeon,
“We cannot love God without hating what he hates.”
She states, “God hates ALL that undermines love, for everything that debases love, debases US.”
What does God hate?
Here she quotes Proverbs 6:16-19 and then goes into detail about each item plus uses other scripture references explaining things the Lord hates. Again it is because of his PERFECT LOVE for US that he hates what will undo that love. I will be using the Amplified Version and add the list numbers.
“These six things the Lord hates; Indeed, seven are repulsive to Him;
1) A proud look [the attitude that makes one overestimate oneself and discount others]
2) A lying tongue
3) Hands that shed innocent blood
4) A heart that creates wicked plans
5) Feet that run swiftly to evil
6) A false witness who breathes out lies [even half-truths]
7) And one who spreads discord (rumors) among brothers.
This is just one of the many verses she uses. (You might want to reference the word, hate, for yourself).These scriptures are so relevant for our time. Each reason for the hatred is because it twists and corrupts HIS LOVE. It corrupts the life he has for his children.
Let me add: “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” John 10:10 (NIV)
These are my thoughts:
There is a battle for each of our hearts and the enemy of our souls only desire is to destroy the concept of God’s love for us so that we get confused. Eventually we don’t really understand his love at all. It becomes twisted with the world’s concept of love. That is why the Lord desires us to hate evil, NOT THE PEOPLE, but hate and despise the traps that ensnare each of us.
The world cannot understand this and tends to accept the lie that we, as believers, are hateful people because we stand up for righteousness. But the truth is that we are lovers of the Lord. Our desire should not be to “tolerate” what is sinful. And it isn’t that we think that we are better because we were once caught up in the same darkness.
Ephesians 5 states: “live a life filled with love.” But then the letter continues to warn us to stay away from the sinful life we once lived and to not be fooled by those who make excuses for sin.
Often people hate the light of the Lord simply because it exposes the sin that enslaves them. The darkness hides it. But the letter to the Ephesians in chapter 5 makes it very clear, “Carefully determine what pleases the Lord. Take no part in the worthless deeds of evil and darkness; instead, expose them.” (verse 10-11 NIV)
In my previous blog I stated that the Lord challenged me to love him with all my heart, all my soul, all my mind and all my strength. I believe that includes hating what he hates. It does not mean to hate those who are enslaved in sin. Love them enough to show them the light. The sin that holds them will not like this at all, but the person who is bound and wants to walk in freedom, will.
We are called to love the individual, not judge the individual. How do we do that? By being kind, helpful, gracious. Romans 2:4 states that it is God’s kindness that will lead to repentance. But on the other side we are to hate what God hates which is anyTHING that undoes his great love for us.
“When we do not hate what is evil, our love is not genuine. ” Lisa Bevere
This may take his grace and wisdom to decipher. Just be wise: Do not confuse tolerance with love.
Finally: Jesus did warn us that if the world hated him, it will hate us also. If we belonged to the word, it would accept and love us. (Matthew 10 & John 15).
It is not always easy to live for the Lord, but always worth it. I have found no greater joy and peace, even in the midst of many heartaches, then following my Lord. I remember someone once said to me: “I have many things that I could regret in my life but one I have never regretted: giving my life to Jesus.”
To answer the title’s question,”Can God Hate?” I would say, yes. God can hate because he IS LOVE. I challenge you to research this for yourself.
God bless you as you continue to walk in His Light. Be courageous and filled with his wisdom and his love.