Christians should be filled with hate. That’s right—there is a kind of hatred that should characterize all those who love God. As a matter of fact, it is a hatred that God loves. It is a holy hatred for evil, and God expects all of His children to possess and express it. As the Scripture says, “Abhor what is evil; hold fast to what is good” (Romans 12:9b).
To abhor evil is to be nauseated and appalled by wickedness, whether it is committed by the evil society or the evil sinner looking back at you in the mirror. Holy hatred entails running from iniquity rather than toward it. Abhorrence involves looking away from sin instead of upon it. It is possessing the same “righteous repulsion” that arrested David’s heart: “I will not set before my eyes anything that is worthless. I hate the work of those who fall away; it shall not cling to me. A perverse heart shall be far from me; I will know nothing of evil” (Psalm 101:2-3).
Those who love God with all their heart will naturally detest and despise what is unholy because it is impossible to love God and evil at the same time. As John the apostle wrote, “Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him” (1 John 2:15). Moreover, the more you love God, the more you will love what He loves and hate what He hates—and He loves righteousness and hates evil. As the psalmist declared, “For you are not a God who delights in wickedness; evil may not dwell with you” (Psalm 5:4).
And, in order to hate what is evil, we must “hold fast to what is good.” That is, we must be cleave to all that is good and never let it slip from our hands. We must clinch onto the good word of God, the holy Scriptures (cf. Psalm 119:103-104). We must cling to good people, the holy saints (cf. Hebrews 3:12-13). And we must clasp the hands of faith onto the holy God who is good (cf. Psalm 34:8).
May the stance of our hearts be the first stanza of Charles Wesley’s hymn, “The Things My God Doth Hate,” which beautifully says:
“The things my God doth hate,
That I no more may do,
Thy creature, Lord, again create,
And all my soul renew;
My soul shall then, like thine,
Abhor the thing unclean,
And sanctify’d thy love divine,
For ever cease from sin.”
Bible Gleanings is a widely-read weekend devotional column, written for the Murray Ledger & Times in Calloway County, Kentucky.
Brandon is the founder and main contributor to Brandon’s Desk, the blog with biblical resources from his ministry. He is proud to be the pastor of the family of believers at Locust Grove Baptist Church in Murray, Kentucky. He and his wife Dakota live there with their three dogs, Susie (Jack Russell), Aries (English Shepherd), and Dot (Bluetick Beagle).