By Bryan Ho
“When Love & Hate Collide” is a powerful ballad by English rock band Def Leppard from their 1995 greatest hits album. “When Love & Hate Collide” became one of their most successful singles in their homeland. What does the Bible teach us about love and hate?
Love and hate are the complete opposite. Yet these emotions are very relatable to us as we experience it very often. Leviticus 19:17, “You shall not hate your brother in your heart”. Matthew 5:43-44, “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you”.
God hates sin. Proverbs 6:16-19, “These six things the Lord hates, Yes, seven are an abomination to Him: A proud look, A lying tongue, Hands that shed innocent blood, A heart that devises wicked plans, Feet that are swift in running to evil, A false witness who speaks lies, And one who sows discord among brethren.” Psalm 45:6-7, “Your throne, O God, is forever and ever; Ascepter of righteousness is the scepter of Your kingdom. You love righteousness and hate wickedness.”
Therefore, we ought to hate sin and love God. Amos 5:15, “Hate evil, love good.” Psalm 97:10, “You who love the Lord, hate evil! He preserves the souls of His saints; He delivers them out of the hand of the wicked.”Romans 12:9. “Let love be without hypocrisy. Abhor what is evil. Cling to what is good.”
God loves the sinner. 1 John 4:8-11, “He who does not love does not know God, for God is love. In this the love of God was manifested toward us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through Him. In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.” Romans 6:6-8, “knowing this, that our old man was crucified with Him, that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves of sin. For he who has died has been freed from sin. Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with Him.”
Hatred is among the works of the flesh, Galatians 5:19-21, “Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like; of which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told you in time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.”
We must be careful as hate can lead to other evils. Proverbs 10:12, “Hatred stirs up strife, But love covers all sins.” We ought to learn from Jesus and not to hate others in return. 1 Peter 2:21-23, “For to this you were called, because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that you should follow His steps, “Who committed no sin, Nor was deceit found in His mouth”; who, when He was reviled, did not revile in return; when He suffered, He did not threaten, but committed Himself to Him who judges righteously.” Romans 12:17-21, “Repay no one evil for evil. Have regard for good things in the sight of all men. If it is possible, as much as depends on you, live peaceably with all men. Beloved, do not avenge yourselves, but rather give place to wrath; for it is written, “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,” says the Lord. Therefore “If your enemy is hungry, feed him; If he is thirsty, give him a drink; For in so doing you will heap coals of fire on his head.” Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.” Remember Matthew 7:12, “Therefore, whatever you want men to do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets.”
Both love and hatred are strong emotions, causing strong reactions of the heart and deeds. We must learn to overcome evil with good/love and not be consumed with hatred when evil is committed against us.