People hate because they do not love. A loving heart has no place for hate, bitterness and malice. A Person who hates has not God, for God is love, and all those who are called Christians love all the saints of God.
Hatred is a deadly poison that exudes from the depths of hell, destroying every soul that breathes in its toxic fumes. Its carcinogenic chemical has many side effects:
Hatred stirs up trouble. Listen to Solomon: “Hatred stirs up strife: but love covers all sins” (Prov. 10:12). The friction between Joseph and his brethren was induced by envy and hate (Gen. 37:4,5,8). Congregations are torn asunder because brethren despise and detest, reject and repel one another.
Hatred leads to murder. Because the brethren of Joseph hated him, they said, “Let us slay him” (Gen. 37:20). Because of perpetual hatred, the Edomite shed the blood of the children of Israel (Ezek. 35:5). The Jews crucified Jesus because of their animosity and hostility toward him (Jn. 15:18-25). The apostle John succinctly states, “Whosoever hates his brother is a murderer: and you know that no murderer hath eternal life abiding in him” (1 Jn. 3:15).
Hatred provokes sins of the tongue. David was the target of the biting barbs from the mouth of his enemies. He says, “They compassed me about also with words of hatred, and fought against me without a cause” (Psa. 109:3). Hatred needed no justification. Solomon said, “A lying tongue hates those it hurts” (Prov. 26:28).
Abrasive, rude, cutting and harsh language generates from those whose hearts are filled with hate. This is also true of gossip, slander, backbiting, faultfinding and false witnessing. Jesus said, “That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment” (Matt. 12:36). The way we use our tongue is a most serious and grave matter.
Hatred fosters resentment and retaliation. The Bible is replete with passages forbidding revenge (Prov. 19:11; 24:27,29; Matt. 5:38-48; Lk. 6:27-36; 1 Cor. 4:12; 1 Pet. 3:9). When Jesus was “reviled, he reviled not again; when he suffered, he threatened not” (1 Pet. 2:23).
Hatred begets envy and envy begets hate. We see this vicious cycle in the life of Joseph and his brethren. They hated Joseph (Gen. 37:4,5,8) and, subsequently, “his brethren envied him” (Gen. 37:11). The Jews hated Jesus and they delivered him to be crucified because of envy (Matt. 27:18; Mk. 15:10). Envy is “rottenness of the bones” (Prov. 14:30).
Those who harbor hate, malice and envy are miserable wretches, and unless they excise this virulent cancer from their hearts, they will slowly destroy themselves as a malignancy emaciates the body.
Hate is a characteristic of the world. Paul wrote, “For we ourselves also were sometimes foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving divers lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful, and hating one another” (Tit. 3:3). Those in the kingdom of Satan, hate. But the children of God must put off such works of darkness.
Hate is a work of the flesh. It is cataloged with fornication, idolatry, witchcraft, murder and drunkenness (Gal. 5:19-21). They who practice such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God. Hatred will keep us out of heaven.
Hate is harbored only by fools. Solomon said, “He that hides hatred with lying lips, and he that utters a slander, is a fool” (Prov. 10:18).
Hate is cruel and mean. The enemies of David were many and they hated him “with cruel hatred” (Psa. 25:19). We see this kind of ill treatment vented upon Abel by Cain, upon Joseph by his jealous brothers, and upon Jesus by the rebellious Jews.
There is only one remedy for hate and that is love, a love that is patient, kind, does not envy, does not boast, is not proud, not rude, not self-seeking, not easily angered, keeps no record of wrongs, etc. (1 Cor. 13:4-7). If we love as we ought, we will love our brethren:
As the Lord loves us. “A new commandment I give unto you, That you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another” (Jn. 13:34; f. 15:12).
Love is to be genuine and unhypocritical. Peter said, “Seeing you have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit unto unfeigned love of the brethren” (1 Pet. 1:22). This kind of love is not in word only, but also in deed and in truth (1 Jn. 3:18).
(1 Pet. 1:22). To love with a pure heart is to be free of malice, guile, hypocrisies, envies and evil speakings (1 Pet. 2:1). Peter says we are to lay aside these evil things as a result of being born again. These are laid aside (put off) as one would discard filthy and dirty clothing.
“Let brotherly love continue” (Heb. 13:1). In the words of Solomon, “Better is a dinner of herbs where love is, than a stalled ox and hatred therewith” (Prov. 15:17). Let not hate consume you, but rather consume hate with love.