There is a lot of hate in the world. It didn’t start recently, but it certainly feels like people have more hatred today than they did twenty years ago. The Bible is clear about hatred. Hatred starts conflicts (Proverbs 10:12). You cannot say “I love God” and hate your brother (1 John 4:20). In fact, anyone who hates his brother is a murderer (1 John 3:15).
There are some people we have deemed okay to hate. For example, if someone said they hated Adolf Hitler, most people would agree. We read news stories daily of people who do evil things and our response is anger and sometimes hatred. Child abusers and sex traffickers can cause your blood to boil. The evil in this world is heart wrenching. Too often, we allow the hatred to fester. We feel justified in our anger and hatred. We think the evil doers don’t deserve our grace and mercy because they have shown themselves to be evil.
I certainly am not making a plea for these people. I have noted on many occasions how I wanted to have the eye for an eye punishment for the people who have tortured and abused children. Still, in my opinion it would not be good enough. However, as we step back, as we consider today’s verse, we are reminded that God treats us all the same. For each of us, He offers salvation through the blood of Jesus Christ. This means that someone who kills people, abuses people, enslaves people, brutalizes people, etc., is offered the same grace that we are offered. We are all sinners in need of grace.
I have a hard time looking at someone who has committed evil acts and seeing good. I see evil and I want justice. It’s likely that someone is not in close alignment with God when committing such heinous acts, and yet, it’s also possible that one day the Spirit of God could move inside the heart. The person could accept Jesus and slowly be made new. As much as you may dislike a person now, you could one day see this person in heaven for eternity.
I’m not sharing this word today to frighten you. It’s important that we know the power of grace. It’s important that we know the reach of grace. Even when we do not like a person, have already condemned a person, wish punishment on a person, God still is reaching out for the one who wandered off. He waits with patience so that any that would believe would have the opportunity to make that big decision, to repent and return to Him (2 Peter 3:9).
There is evil in this world and yes, we are supposed to hate evil (Amos 5:15). Evil is not a person though, it’s the actions of the person. The person is still a soul, a human created in God’s image. God sent His one and only Son to die not only for you, but for that person too. Let us ask God to help us love people more. Ask the Spirit to help us let Him take care of justice, and to spend our energy seeking out ways to honor God by the words we speak and the actions we take. May we not grow in hate, but in love. It is love that points to Jesus. We all need Jesus.
“Since there is only one God, He will treat us all the same—He eliminates our guilt and makes us right with Him by faith no matter who we are.” – Romans 3:30 [TPT]