Is There A Place For Hatred In The Christian Life? (Psalm 119:28)

In Psalm 119:127-28 we learn much about the man who wrote the longest chapter in the Bible. He was a man of great passion – he loved the good and hated what is evil. “Because I love your commands more than gold, more than pure gold, and because I consider all your precepts right, I hate every wrong path.”

He loved God’s Word more than all the money in the world. The psalmist likes to make a comparison between his attitude toward the Word and his attitude toward wealth. “The law from your mouth is more precious to me than thousands of pieces of silver and gold” (Psalm 119:72).

In verses 127 and 128, his love for God’s Word and God’s righteousness are the basis for his hatred of sin.

Love for the right will inevitably produce hatred for the wrong. They are two sides of the same coin. The New Testament teaches this concept clearly in Romans 12:9, where Paul writes, “Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good”.

Perhaps you’ve not thought of the Christian life in these terms before, but we are instructed to both love and hate.  We are instructed to love God and people, as Jesus indicated when asked, “Of all the commandments, which is the most important?” (Mark 12:28-31). His answer, in a word, was “love” – love for God and love for our neighbor.

And we are also instructed to hate – not people, of course, but sin. And first and foremost, we should be cultivating a hatred of our own sin. Isn’t this why Paul said in Romans 8:13, “if you live according to the sinful nature, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body, you will live”?

How do we hate our sin? By putting it to death! So, we could say that the Christian life is characterized by such an intense hatred of one’s own sin that we will be engaged in a war against our sin (the misdeeds of the body), and this is a battle to the death. We take no prisoners. Our sin is the enemy, and we kill the enemy.

Yes, Christianity is one violent religion. We are commanded to hate and to kill – not people, but our own sin. This has been the passion of believers for centuries. It was the passion of the man who wrote Psalm 119. It was the passion of the apostle Paul. And it was something that even Jesus taught in the Sermon on the Mount. “If your right hand causes you to sin, cut if off and throw it away” (Matthew 5:30).

My Christian friend, what sin are you amputating today? By the Spirit and for the glory of King Jesus, may God empower us to demonstrate our love for Him by hating and killing our own sin.

Wayne Davies

Wayne Davies

To receive 2 free gifts to help you read, study and understand the Bible, just click on my picture (to the left) or my name (directly above).
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