We live in a world of hate. Indeed, headlines reflect a lack of incivility in America that hearkens back to the days of fistfights in Congress, social media outlets keep inventing new rules to curb people’s zest for malice—except for instituting expectations of true human decency, and the various entertainment venues to which people formerly turned to escape the world of political hatred now seem filled with it. Hate, in general, makes the world a very ugly place. However, many have overreacted to the emotional negativity of society and declared all hate as bad. Hate, say some, is a bad word (not that people even know what that means anymore). However, this fails to consider the word’s meaning and the importance of standards as the foundation for a moral society. After all, hate is intense dislike, a determined hostility. It describes an opposition with meaningful purpose and feeling. Therefore, only someone with total apathy and no standards whatsoever can avoid hate altogether—and simultaneously cannot love at all. This reality seems lost on postmodern relativists, but the Bible not only accepts this fact but even embraces it. In Proverbs 6:16-19 Solomon records a list that applies to societies of all sizes and interactions of all kinds: “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.” Arrogance, lies, murder, malice, lawlessness, defamation, and divisiveness are definitely not virtues. Few would cite them on a job application. But do we truly hate such things?
Far too often, we congratulate ourselves for not participating in these types of activities while actually showing more apathy toward evil than passion for God. We hope to seek righteousness quietly without having to go to the trouble of hating unrighteousness too obviously. It is not that we approve of sin and iniquity. The problem lies in our unwillingness to oppose them with anything but the faintest whimper. We have been cowed by the viciousness of an ungodly society and put off by the unloving tirades of the self-righteous so much that we have let their combined venom convince us not to participate at all. But that brings us back to Proverbs. If the Lord hates such activity, so should we. If it disgusts him to see such transgressions, it should disgust us too—and for the same reason. The LORD is holy, and we are to imitate His holiness (1 Pet. 1:16). He stands apart from such things, but He also stands against them. And so should we.
Regardless of the person’s opinions, true haughtiness and arrogance deserves censure. A lie told by a friend, a hero, or a relative is still a lie—and should be treated accordingly. The murder of the innocent—whether an unborn child, a black man watching television in his apartment, or the victim of gang violence—is a horrifying crime against humanity. Furthermore, hearts set on hurting others and fomenting violence and those who follow—blindly or not—should be shamed and ostracized rather than treated as legitimate and mainstream citizens. The character assassination that now passes for politics and the strife-filled contention that both precedes it and builds upon it is evidence of an imploding society. The fact that many who participate and encourage such behavior simultaneously serve up the rhetoric of tolerance shows that their opposition is not based in character or standards but in self-serving manipulation. “These six things the LORD hates, Yes, seven are an abomination to Him,” and they should be to His people as well.