Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good.

Romans 12:9 (NIV)

Hate is such a strong word. Hatred is an even stronger feeling. Why do we throw that four-letter word around so freely? And why do we allow feelings of resentment and anger to build up inside of us to the point where it almost does — or does, in fact — lead to hatred?

We’re humans, so we have raw emotions that build up inside of us as part of the nature of our being. Learning to harness these ill thoughts — and seeking forgiveness from God for any sinful thoughts that arise from them — is of the utmost importance.

But why did God create us with the ability to hate? Wouldn’t a God of love just make it impossible for us to hate? The Bible promotes love over hate and preaches to us the importance of being carriers and promoters of love. Hatred seems like a no-win situation, so why is the flickering flame inside of us just waiting to be ignited if the right amount of gasoline is thrust upon it?

According to Romans 12:9, it’s not only acceptable but encouraged to hate what is evil. If Satan is the enemy of God’s will and his heavenly kingdom, and if we are to love God, then it seems natural to do the opposite and hate what is evil.

Does this mean go out and hate somebody who speaks ill of God? No, of course not. That’s Satan speaking through one of God’s children. Instead, we should hate Satan and what he is doing through that naysayer, and we should show love and compassion to that person and show him or her the goodness of God.