by: Jeff Poppinga
Love that does not hate is not true love. This statement may at first seem to be a contradiction but bear with me. Can love be true if it does not lead us to hate evil and hold on tightly to what is good? Can love be genuine if it does not teach us to abhor what is wrong and adore what is right? I know this is a difficult topic, but consider a couple of passages from the New Testament Scripture:
"Let love be genuine. Abhor what is evil; hold fast to what is good." Romans 12:9
"(Love) does not rejoice in wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth." I Cor 13:6
These passages teach that for love to be genuine it must abhor what is evil and hold fast to what is good because true love rejoices with the truth and not in wrongdoing. Several other places we see "love" and "hate" mentioned together.
Jesus told us we cannot serve two masters for we would hate the one and love the other (Mt 6:24). True love demands full attention and allegiance. We cannot equally love two masters.
Micah prophesied to those who "hate the good and love the evil" (Micah 3:2). Those who love the good will hate evil and those who hate the good will love the evil.
The Lord declared, "Do not devise evil in your hearts against one another, and love no false oath, for all these things I hate" (Zec 8:17). The Lord is revealed as the God who is love (1 Jn 4:8) but we are told that the God who is love hates evil.
In today's way of thinking love is more of a warm feeling we have about ourselves and others rather than a moral center through which we think and act.
God is love! God hates! God is love and hates sin! God is love and loves sinners!
God hates sin and will punish sin in His wrath. The person who sins shall die (Ez 18:4)! The wages of sin is death (Rom 6:23a). This sounds harsh and unloving and uncaring until we come to grips with the fact that God so loved the world He sent His only Son to be our wrath bearer. Yes, God hates sin but He loves the sinner and provided a way of escape. God did not just "feel" love toward us but demonstrated His own love for us by sending His Son to die for us (who have all sinned and fall short of the glory of God). God hates sin and death because sin separates people from him but loves sinners and sent Jesus to save us from our sin.
Consider a married couple. A person who truly loves their spouse would also then hate adultery because adultery wreaks havoc on the marriage bond. Consider a parent. A parent who truly loves their child would also then hate any form of abuse against their child because abuse harms their child.
For love to be genuine, sincere and true it must abhor what is evil and adore what is good. For love to be genuine, sincere and true it must hate what is evil and hold to what is good. True love is a godly, functional morality not a gushy feel good sentimentality. As we approach Valentine's Day let's lay aside the wishy-washy watered down "love" peddled by the world and seek to know the wide, long, high, and deep love of Christ.