Hate defines a good man just as much as love. This is certainly the way it is with God. There is no moral compromise with the Almighty. He knows well what to love and what to hate— and with no half measures to boot! If we are to be like Him, we too must cultivate the same polarizing passions.
It is precisely at this point that temptation (and the Tempter) strikes. For in every temptation lies the opportunity to see some goodness in evil, to suck some sweetness from it, to compromise with sin in the name of some greater good.
So we live our lives with little or not thought of God, His glory, His will, His all-seeing eye— life is just too busy, but it’s just a season, we tell ourselves. We lie to protect our reputation, or the feelings of someone we “care” about. We choose to binge-watch away our boredom with less than edifying entertainment. We become defensive and disrespectful to punish those who challenge our right to be right. In an effort to seem wise, sentient, discerning, we gossip and tear down the good name of another. We paper over the empty shell of our lives with the trinkets and trophies of success, all in an effort to appear what we are not in reality. We procrastinate an important but difficult task all in an effort to enjoy the path of least resistance a little longer. We ignore the Lord’s Day to pursue some favorite pastime, telling ourselves that everybody else is doing it, surely it can’t be wrong? The devil loves the convenience of such compromises. He does His best work here in Greytown.
Where is this happening in your life at the moment? Where is evil on the ascendancy? Where is sin dressing in virtue's colors?
If you are to kill sin in your life, you must first come to hate it. Not just its effects mind you, but the evil itself. Many a drunk hates what alcohol does to his life, but he just can’t bring himself to hate the Cabernet, or the Jack Daniels, or the ole Grey Goose. So it is with all of us and our addictively favorite sins.
How can we learn to hate sin?
1. We must define it clearly as wrong from God’s law. Let there be no equivocation? Satan will try hard to minimize the criminality of evil? Is it really wrong to relieve your frustration with a little impatience, a little yelling, a little lust? We must bring our sins into the light of Gods law to see them in their true colors. So maybe you like to yell when you are angry. What does God say, “Let all clamor (Loud angry speech) be put away from you with evil speaking (Ephesians 4:29ff). The issue is settled, is it not?
2. We must force evil to face the reality of God’s presence. This was Joseph’s tactic when faced with the lovely temptress. “How can I do this thing and sin against God?” It’s why nightclubs are so dark. People would never do what they do there in the spotlight. Evil needs the shadowlands of anonymity and uncertainty to survive. The light of God’s glorious presence is a wonderful revealer for such times.
3. We must resolve to view evil now as we will one day view it when Christ returns. There will be no compromise then, no room for pleasant veneers. When Christ returns and we stand before Him and those eyes, blazing with soul piercing fire, evil will be seen for what it really is, and how we will loathe ourselves for our former lies when we indulged so much fondness for God’s mortal enemy.
4. We must view evil at the foot of the cross and see what it cost Jesus. What, will God’s Son take frail flesh and die to redeem me from evil, and shall I still dare to take it to my bosom in love? May it never be!
Our darling sins, of course, will not take kindly to any of these arguments. They will whine like children dragged from their beds early on a Saturday morning. They much prefer to live in Greytown’s ill-defined ambiguity. But the faithful Christian, determined to love well, to hate well, and stand steadfast forever, must press on and lay hold of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. He must learn to hate the worst and love the best and make no compromise in between. May God give us all grace to so be and do today. Soli Deo Gloria!