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Hatred is Verboten

1 John 4:19,20 We love because God first loved us. If we say we love God but hate any of our brothers or sisters in his family, we are liars. If we don’t love someone we have seen, how can we love God? We have never even seen him.

When I was growing up, I wasn’t allowed to use the word “hate”. I certainly was never allowed to hate someone. That was strictly verboten. Even saying that I hated this or that was frowned upon.

Those old-fashioned morals that I’m so thankful that my parents drummed into me seem to have been replaced, though, with such anger and vitriol … in the press, on television, in social media, and in the way that many people live their lives.

Can I ask you today, what are the things that you hate? Seriously. And even more importantly, who – if anybody – in your life, do you hate? That’s an even more serious question. The reason I ask is this:

1 John 4:19,20 We love because God first loved us. If we say we love God but hate any of our brothers or sisters in his family, we are liars. If we don’t love someone we have seen, how can we love God? We have never even seen him.

It turns out that not only was hatred a no-no from my parents’ perspective, but it’s a definite no-no from God’s perspective. Why? Because God is love. Because when God had every right to punish the likes of you and me for our rebellion and sin, when He had every right to hate us – because we hated Him first – He instead sent Jesus His Son to suffer and die for us. We love, because God first loved us.

And what He’s saying here is that we cannot claim to be one of His children on the one hand, and hate someone on the other. In fact, doing so, He tells us, is in effect, hating Him.

That’s God’s Word. Fresh … for you … today.

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