Hate: No matter how the story is told, it’s a sad story.
Why do people hate? Not “just because.” No, not at all. There are reasons behind every form of hatred, and all are ugly.
I came up with four base-level forms of hatred. I call them “base-level” because a lot of ugliness gets built on each one.
- a desire to feel superior,
- a need for attention, and
- for revenge.
But where does all this hate come from? Some would say from the fallen nature of man, and that’s the larger truth. But the smaller truth is that much of the hatred within us was deposited within us by our parents or through our peers. What kind of an example am I leaving for others?
I grew up in the greater Seattle area, a multicultural mecca where prejudice was pretty much unnamed. But I learned at an early age that not everyone considers others as equals.
For example, I remember one family that moved into my neighborhood from a southern state known for its racial tension. One day their son and I got talking. He told me how much he hated blacks, only he didn’t call them blacks. He used another word. Because I was a mean widdow kid (and a lot bigger than the new kid) I thought it would be great sport to sit on the kid, hold him down, and call him “n” “n” and “n” over and over again. Which I did.
The kid turned so red in the face I thought he was going to stroke out. I finally let him up, me laughing and him sputtering and spitting. This, by the way, ended our fledgling friendship.
As I considered all this, I mused, “Did Jesus ever use the word “hate?” He did, actually. My favorite passage comes from Matthew 5:43-48 –
“‘You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven; for He causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? If you greet only your brothers, what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same? Therefore you are to be perfect [complete], as your heavenly Father is perfect.'” (NASU, emphasis mine).
Of course, the only way we can become perfect, or complete, is by placing our faith in Jesus as Savior (as in, save me from myself and the consequences of my knucklheadedness). He is the only one Who can teach us to truly love. May we yield to Him, so that He can make us perfect, as He is perfect.
So why do haters hate? Because they don’t know how to love.
But wait, there’s more! (I’m being facetious of course, but there really is more). I’m interested in your thoughts. You can reply, send me an email, and/or help design the new monthly newsletter –