The sins of social disorder, which are sometimes referred as sins against our fellowman, will be examined in the next eight installments on this series of the works of the flesh. They include the following eight sins: hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, envyings, and murders.
The first on the list of these sins is hatred, which we will be examining in this article. Hatred in its simplest form is defined as a strong dislike or ill will. It is further defined as hate which itself means animosity, spite, malice, and includes anything that is deemed detestable in the sight of the hater.
It plays out in actions such as taking delight in causing others to suffer, or in seeing them suffer. It enjoys hurting, annoying, or frustrating others, usually by petty, vindictive acts.
Hatred is enmity and hostility toward others and as with all sin, it begins in the heart. It may well be hidden within the heart for a time, but eventually will be manifested (put into action) when the opportune circumstance calls it forth.
Hatred, being a work of the flesh (actions of the sinful condition of unredeemed hearts) is a spiritual problem and requires a spiritual solution to correct. This solution is yielding our hearts to Christ and becoming new creatures. As a new creature (a born again believer) we take on the nature of Christ which is opposite of the nature of the fallen flesh which cause one to commit the works of the flesh in the first place.
Our secular society, which usually fully rejects any and all, forms of Biblical behavior are constantly searching for solutions to mans spiritual problems. Many laws have been inacted to improve and control society with little and varying degrees of success, These laws usually just ends up making life more complicated and expensive.
Recent hate-crime laws are an example. While these laws are meant to make society a better place to live, the opposite affect is sometimes the results. The reason for this is no amount of legislation can change a person’s heart. At best, they instill fear in a person, which holds him in restraint for a while. But, when the real test comes, fear is forgotten in the heat of the moment while the unlawful person rushes on in his rage and anger.
The answer to hate is to love. In John’s epistles we find this to be true. In contrasting love and hate, consider First John 3:11: “For this is the message that ye heard from the beginning, that we should love one another.” And in First John 3 and verse 14 the Apostle said: “We know that we have passed from death unto life, because we love the brethren. He that loveth not his brother abideth in death.”
“But he that hateth his brother is in darkness, and walketh in darkness, and knoweth not whither he goeth, because that darkness hath blinded his eyes” (1 John 2:11).
“Whosoever hateth his brother is a murderer: and ye know that no murderer hath eternal life abiding in him” (1 John 3:15).
Love wins. Our natural love will brake down at some point but God’s love never fails. God’s love is something that we can all have if we only want it. For the wonderful results of God’s pure and perfect love, read First Corinthians chapter thirteen.
Walter Lofton is a local pastor at the Church of God in Seth and can be reached by email at email@example.com