The one who says he is in the Light and yet hates his brother is in the darkness until now. The one who loves his brother abides in the Light and there is no cause for stumbling in him. 1 John 2:9 (NASB)
“I hate you!” or “You hate me!” How many times did you say that as a kid? Was it true? Did you mean it? Probably not. It was probably a knee-jerk reaction to someone telling you something you didn’t want to hear. Things haven’t changed much as adults, have they? It’s said there’s a thin line between love and hate. People claim to love one day and hate the next. I think that’s because we have such twisted definitions of love and hatred. Love is not a desire for sexual gratification. That’s lust. And, in spite of what those who would divide us say, hatred is not speaking the truth in love. Penn Jillette of Penn and Teller, an atheist by the way, said recently, “How much must a Christian hate his brother not to tell him the truth?”
Ecclesiastes 3:8 tells us there is a “time to hate.” Hate what? “Hate evil, love good (Amos 5:15), hate divorce (Malachi 2:16), every false way (Psalm 119:104), and even our own life (John 12:25).
Yet we are never once commanded to hate people. Quite the opposite, in fact. “…love your enemies, do good to those who hate you (Luke 6:27), love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you (Matthew 5:44).
I’m afraid things just got a lot harder for Christians in this country. Free speech seems to have flown out the window. But we must be careful in our speech to respond in love. We can’t compromise the truth. Ever. But we must always speak in love. Hatred for others is darkness. Light swallows up darkness. Love swallows up hate.
This is a short post. I just want to tell everyone out there, “I love you, no matter what your sexual orientation, race, or religion. The God of heaven loves you too. He loves you so much He sent His one and only Son to live a perfect life, die on a cruel cross, and be raised from the dead on the third day just to pay the penalty for your and for my sins, whatever they may be. I pray that He will open your eyes to His truth and set you free. God bless.”
I am pleased to announce that Not Ashamed launches today. Please get your copy at Amazon.com (or if you’re near Atlanta, from me.) So far, it has a 4.7 star rating on Goodreads.com. By the way, it quotes a pastor my Roanoke friends all know and love. And if you haven’t read Not Guilty yet, you might want to check that out too, since this one is a sequel. God bless.