Psalms 97:10 “Ye that love the LORD, hate evil: he preserveth the souls of his saints; he delivereth them out of the hand of the wicked.”
‘There, but by the grace of God, go I’.
We all have a filter through which we see people. Some have a very narrow scope through which they see people – ‘How will this help me?’, or ‘I will only help certain people’. Others have such a broad view, that it seems they have no values by which they live.
Whether we admit it or not, we all judge. Simply put, we all have an initial judgment we make when we see someone, or greet someone. They may be abrasive, curt, even unkind. Others may seem gentle, open and caring. I have lived long enough to see those who were rough at first be the most kind. I have also see those who at the first seemed kind and gentle be the most ruthless.
There is an axiom I have been taught:
“Love the sinner; hate the sin.”
It is a good principle to live by.
In this world of politically correctness, we shy away from speaking plainly; fearing we offend someone else’s sensitivity, or alienate them because they have been conditioned to be offended.
Biblical truth is timeless. It does not change to match the culture. It does not adapt to the popular thought or side with the majority. There is a part of us that wishes we could change a few things about other people; about God.
If we had our way, we would likely sanitize our surroundings to make everything and everyone around us full of peace and harmony. Such a utopia does not exist here on this earth – not as long as there is sin. So how are we to live in this ‘chaos’?
God draws some very definitive lines for us; His children.
In our text He says:
Psalms 97:10 “Ye that love the LORD, hate evil…”
He also says:
Romans 12:9 “Let love be without dissimulation. Abhor that which is evil; cleave to that which is good.”
Not only are we to have a strong hate life – there should be in us an abhorrence for the evil that is committed – both ours and others.
The definition for abhorrence – Extreme hatred; detestation; great aversion – is something we do not tolerate today. To have an extreme opinion about popular thought is ‘hate speech’. Yet, we who name the name of Jesus must delineate between the ‘who’ and the ‘what’ of our hatred.
A person’s sin defines them.
If I steal, I am a thief. If I am immoral, I am an adulterer or fornicator. If I kill someone, I am a murderer. Yet the transference of accusation turns to a form of rejection because of the sin they commit.
God has no level of sin except one – the sin of unbelief. That is the unforgivable sin. All other sin is and can be forgiven because payment has already been made. Jesus’ death, burial and resurrection was to pay for all sin – to those who place their faith in Him. There is no compromise with this decision.
But when it comes to the sins we commit, there are some that we literally choose sides. Take sexual abuse of children – we readily rally to the side of the child as victim and cry out for justice against the abuser. If any of my children or grandchildren were in such a case, I would have extreme anger toward that one who chose to do such things to my family.
Yet, when I remove myself from the equation and try to put on God’s glasses, if you will; He sent His Son; Jesus Christ to die for the abuser as well as the abused. Yet, who will advocate for the abuser in this case? Who will be there for the murderer? The adulterer? The thief?
When sin and the sins of others becomes personal, our sense of judgment is skewed because we would rather exercise judgment than mercy. We would rather take up vengeance than give grace. I have come to realize, we are all in the same boat. We are, all of us; sinners.
When we sin, we want mercy. When sinned against – we want justice.
I truly empathize when the sin against you and me is so filled with hatred, hurt, and the wound goes so deep that death seems to good for them. They seem to go out of their way to try to hurt us.
But you must ask yourself – can God; will God forgive them their sin if they confess?
Reverse the roles – if you were the one who committed such a crime against someone, would you want mercy and forgiveness? How would you want God to deal with you?
Ephesians 4:31-32 “Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice: And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.”
I have had to relinquish my hatred for forgiveness. I have had to give over my anger for mercy – mercy for the offender, the abuser, the one who hurt me. The only way I can do that is when I come to the throne of grace.
Hebrews 4:16 “Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.”
I need mercy for my hatred.
I need grace to deal with the offender. As a child of God, we may be the only one who can break through to see them saved. We need His grace to do so.