Tempted to hate

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Tempted to hate                  

2 Corinthians 12:20 For I am afraid that when I come I may not find you as I want you to be, and you may not find me as you want me to be. I fear that there may be quarreling, jealousy, outbursts of anger, factions, slander, gossip, arrogance and disorder.

Extra Reading: 2 Cor. 12:11-21

All human beings have come into contact with hate in their lifetime. Some learn to hate people from what they saw growing up. One dictionary defines hate as “to have strong dislike or ill will for; loathe; despise.”  This same attitude was well known in Scripture, mostly in a negative sense and closely related to anger. In the Bible neither hate nor anger is an emotion. We use the term anger to describe what we feel when someone injures us. Given a threat or injury (emotional or physical), our body pours adrenalin into bloodstream, and we get ready to fight or flee. We also have some automatic angry thoughts, which flash into our minds in a fraction of a second. The Bible does not condemn this automatic response, for it is given by God to protect us. But as soon as the automatic response flashes by, we have a choice, even if we at first are not aware of it. We can choose to act out of our inner feelings of anger; we can choose to let our anger settle into a disposition of hatred toward the other person or object; or we can choose to resolve our anger in another way.

The Bible does not have much good to say about human anger (2 Cor. 12:20; Gal. 5:20; Eph. 4:31; Col. 3:8; 1 Tim. 2:8; James 1:19-20), for it is too uncontrollable and does not produce God’s type of righteousness. But there are some things that godly people should hate. These include bribes (Ex.18:21; Prov. 15:27), evildoers (Psalm 5:5; 26:5), idolaters (Psalm 31:6), evil ways (Psalm 97:10; Amos 5:15), falsehood (Psalm 119:163; Prov. 13:5), proud, arrogant or perverted speech (Proverbs 8:13), blood-shed and violence (Ezekiel 35:6; Mal. 2:16) and divorce (Malachi 2:16). When it comes to evildoers, it is especially important to note that hatred is not anger but a disposition that finds what they do distasteful and thus does not in any way admire them. Scripture teaches there is “a time to hate”.

Prayer: O God, teach us to hate the things that You hate. We pray for all this in Jesus Christ’s name, Amen.

Rev. Samuel N. Modise    

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