Hate hate? It seems like this over articulated word has mushroomed into an over exercised emotion that is sweeping the country (if not the world) by storm. Perhaps it’s a natural transition to go from saying I “hate” the Patriots, my teacher, broccoli, Axe body spray (human Febreeze), ironing, politics, infomercials, racists (not racism), dentists, talk radio, traffic, cold pizza or lack of tolerance to actually building an intense hostility for someone or something. (By the way, did your “hate object” make this list or do you have something to add?) Could we all be a little too loose with this word, hate, allowing it to create within us something more than it should?
We have become a very angry people in an angry world. Christians not excluded. Granted, there are a lot of things we could choose to frustrated or even angry about. But hate? That’s so intense. The word was meant to imply intensity. Life often “bounces” unpredictably like a football. But angst doesn’t have to evolve into anger or hate, does it? We have become an impatient people. Technical advances, though helpful, have cultivated our expectations of instant response and gratification. We seem to have a difficult time demonstrating respect for people who are different from us in thought or deed. Our way, or people like “us” are the ones most likely to receive our grace and respect and to be treated with dignity. Are we really that good?
And while I’m at it, I may as well offer my neck to you and comment on the ridiculous trend these days of soliciting opinions. Surveys and requests for our often uninformed and unporocessed “opinions” flood the landscape of the internet, phone solicitations, as well as call in TV talk and talk radio shows. No matter if there’s any wisdom or facts to back it up, just shoot from the hip as if you know something. After all, all opinions count equally. Gag!
In an attempt to redeem myself at least partially in this article, may I encourage those of us who claim to be Christ-followers to show something different to the world? I say that because you and I both see “Christ-followers” acting and responding in the ways mentioned above. Doubt me? Check your Facebook pages. First, let’s try to put a muzzle on the “hate” word. Yes, I know God hates some stuff. But mostly it’s sin and what it does to destroy his people. He’s very protective and he does hate things, even people that harm his kids and adversely impact his kingdom. More than the hate though, he desires to redeem and reconcile. So should we. We are admonished to be “quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry.” (Jas. 1:19)Doesn’t that make good sense? Let’s practice that as a life skill.
The world in many ways is not a pretty place. We see evidence from the Bible that we are not to be lovers of the world (1 Jn. 2:15) as it is devolving and will one day pass away. What we see and experience today and in the days that come validates what the Bible tries to tell us. This is a fallen world. As “salt and light” people, we should do our best to preserve and protect, but our hope and attention should be upward. God is sovereign over a messy creation. Expect butterflies and puppy dogs at your own risk. I was going to say rainbows but there is some heavy symbolism in that covenant reminder. We are called to love, uphold, and treat others with dignity. We are told “love never fails.” (1 Cor. 13:8) We can trust that. And we can trust Jesus. He will come back to his creation and will redeem it to his satisfaction. He will be riding a white horse, not a donkey or an elephant. So be of good cheer. Think About It.