Hating what God hates is not about being judgmental or self-righteous, but rather about aligning ourselves with His perfect and righteous nature. As humans, we are often tempted to make excuses for our actions and justify our sinful behaviors. However, when we truly understand and embrace God’s Word, we realize that sin is not just a list of rules to follow, but it is an offense against a holy and just God.
In the Bible, we see that God hates sin because it separates us from Him and hinders our relationship with Him. Sin also brings destruction and pain into our lives and the lives of those around us. It ultimately leads to death, both physically and spiritually. As followers of Christ, it is our duty to hate what God hates and love what He loves.
One of the prophetic psalms about the promised Messiah reads as follows:
Psalm 45: 6,7
“Your throne is God forever and ever. A scepter of uprightness is the scepter of your kingdom. You have loved righteousness and hated wickedness. Therefore God, your God, has anointed you with the oil of exultation above your peers.”
Here the psalmist states that the Messiah would exhibit two distinct character traits which can be seen to define or underlie his life; loving righteousness and hating wickedness. Sadly, too many people see only the love side of Jesus and have no recognition of his absolute hatred of evil. Plainly stated, Jesus hates evil. This is an absolutely essential, and convicting, truth. But it is also absolutely essential for us to understand that Jesus loves goodness and righteousness. That is why the apostle Paul writes:
“Let your love be without hypocrisy. Utterly hate what is evil; cling to what is good.”
Hatred is not an arbitrary choice left up to the whims of each person. Humans, apart from God’s wisdom, are equally incapable of knowing what to love and what to hate. It is therefore incumbent upon us to learn to love what God loves and to hate what He hates. The things that God and Jesus hate are those things which cause humans to live separately from God. Anything that weakens our fellowship relationship with God, Jesus hates. So, we must understand clearly and truthfully what is evil from God’s perspective, and then we are utterly and completely to reject it – hate it. At the same time, we are to develop a passion for what is righteous and good from God’s perspective, and utterly and completely cling to it – love it.
It is only through God’s Word that we can truly understand the difference between love and hate. And even then, it is up to us to make the conscious choice to love or hate based on scripture. Hate is not simply a feeling or emotion; it is a deliberate action. It is a deliberate choice to reject and despise something or someone. And just as love is a choice, it is also a conscious decision to embrace and cherish something or someone. Therefore, we must be careful in our choices of love and hate because they have the power to shape our attitudes, actions, and ultimately our character.
We must also remember that God is the ultimate judge and it is not our place to hate anything based on our own personal views. Instead, we should strive to love all of God’s creation and see others through His eyes, with compassion and understanding. We are called to love our enemies and pray for those who persecute us (Matthew 5:44). This is not an easy task, but it is one that is necessary in order to truly follow in the footsteps of our Savior. Ultimately, love and hate are both choices that we make daily, and it is up to us to choose wisely and align our choices with God’s Word.
If we want to learn what we should hate in this world, I suggest Proverbs 6 as a good place to start.
“There are six things that Yahweh hates, indeed, seven things are abominations to his soul: prideful eyes, a lying tongue, and hands shedding innocent blood; a heart that devises wicked thoughts, feet that are swift to run to do evil, a false witness who breathes out lies, and one who sows strife among brothers.”
The first in the list is prideful eyes. From the scope of scripture, we learn that pride was the primary sin of Satan when he decided to rebel against God. He saw himself as something more than a created being who owed his very existence to a loving Creator. Pride is an inflated self-worth stemming from a failure to acknowledge the one who made us. There are no “self-made men”, only fools who think they are.
Now take these remaining six things and study them. Meditate upon them and learn to hate them just as God and Jesus hate them. Have we ever acted with pride and arrogance, or spoken perversely? Have we acted flippantly toward our marriage or family by engaging in adultery, flirtatious relations with another person, or watching pornography?
If we truly love Jesus then we will work tirelessly to become like him who loved righteousness and push ourselves to hate evil. This includes a rejection of pride, arrogance, and corrupt speech. Sin is not simply a mistake. It is a horrendous offense against God. We should not tolerate sin in our lives; we should hate it as God does.
The apostle John encourages us in 1 John 1:9 to confess our sins. “Confess” means to say the same thing about sin that God says about it: to have the same attitude toward sin that He has. Our hatred of sin intensifies if we reflect on the fact that our Lord Jesus suffered misery and death because of our sin (1 Corinthians 15:3).
God hates the wicked person (Psalms 11:5). He hates prideful people, liars, murderers, wicked people, and those who do evil, false witnesses, and divisive people (Proverbs 6:16-19). Hate derives from a strong dislike or ill will toward persons or things. As an emotional attitude, a person may oppose, detest, or despise contact with a thing or a person. Love and hatred often stand opposed. Wisdom says, there is “a time to love and a time to hate” (Ecclesiastes 3:8).
Biblically speaking, there are positive and negative aspects to hatred. It is acceptable to hate those things that God hates; indeed, this is very much a proof of a right standing with God. “Let those who love the Lord hate evil” (Psalm 97:10a). Indeed, the closer our walk with the Lord and the more we fellowship with him, the more conscious we will be of sin, both within and without. Do we not grieve and burn with anger when God’s name is maligned, when we see spiritual hypocrisy, when we see blatant unbelief and godless behavior? The more we understand God’s attributes and love His character, the more we will be like Him and the more we will hate those things that are contrary to His Word.
We are called to love our neighbors as ourselves, and this includes those who may have fallen prey to the lies and deceit of evil. But, just as Jesus did, we must also stand up against these systems and ideologies that go against God’s truth and righteousness. We cannot sit idly by and watch as people are led astray and away from God’s love and grace. Instead, we must actively fight against these forces, using the armor of God and the power of prayer to combat the spiritual battles that are taking place. And as we do so, we must remember that our ultimate goal is not to defeat people, but to defeat the evil that holds them captive and bring them back to the loving arms of God.
So let us follow in the footsteps of Jesus and wage war on evil, not with hatred towards people, but with a deep love for them and a desire to see them freed from the chains of deception and brought into the light of God’s love and truth. Let us hate what God hates and love what God loves, and in doing so, let us bring glory to His name and fulfill His purposes for our lives.
“The fear of Yahweh is to hate evil – pride and arrogance and the path of evil and a perverse mouth, I hate.”
Hating evil and loving God… your brother in Christ,