If you ask Christians do they hate anyone, most of them, off the cuff, would probably deny harboring such emotions. They do not want to be associated with the negative connotations that are attached to loathing anybody.
Nevertheless, some of those same deniers might have overlooked the fact that the devil knows that about them; therefore, he has skillfully disguised hate under various assumed identities. For instance, unfair presumptions can feed animosity; misconceived ideologies can undergird prejudices; gospel in part can uphold self-serving agendas; and one of the most prevalent revealing forms of hatred today is hypocrisy.
He [Jesus] replied, “Isaiah was right when he prophesied about you hypocrites; as it is written: “‘These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. They worship me in vain; their teachings are merely human rules.’ (Mark 7:6-7, NIV)
Hypocrisy reveals the heart.
When we proclaim Christianity, we represent the Kingdom of God. Onlookers have a certain expectation of our character when we declare our standing in Christ. Consequently, when they see us abusing others, that’s a stumbling block for them. Nonbelievers can spot a hypocritical heart; that darkness damages the Christian’s creditability—just like the devil intended.
For example, when the world sees us excusing—downplaying wrongful actions of those we honor and hold dearly, yet scream crucify to others whom we disregard when they commit the same exact offenses—those discrepancies overshadow our witness. Instead of drawing people to Christ, the hypocrisy drives them away.
Are you a stumbling block?
Jesus gave His disciples a stern warning about being stumbling blocks in Luke 17:1-3:
Jesus said to his disciples: “Things that cause people to stumble are bound to come, but woe to anyone through whom they come. 2 It would be better for them to be thrown into the sea with a millstone tied around their neck than to cause one of these little ones to stumble. 3 So watch yourselves. (NIV)
Are you contagious with hate?
It’s easy to get our emotions knotted in all the negativity of this world. That’s why it’s not a good idea to hang around people of like minds when we are vulnerable; those vile feelings are highly contagious. If our faith’s immunity is too low to resist the temptation to hate, immediately cry out to the Holy Spirit for help!
Christians hating people can be looked at as an oxymoron because we are commanded to love one another (John 13:34). But let’s not dismiss this as a nonsensical concept so easily. This breach of God’s Word is more common than we realize.
If a man say, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar: for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen? 21And this commandment have we from him, That he who loveth God love his brother also. (1 John 4:20-21)
Pay attention—actions speak louder than words!
See you next week on Paulette Talks Faith.