Let love be genuine. Abhor what is evil; hold fast to what is good. – Romans 12:9
It is pretty much an oxymoron to use the words love and hate in the same sentence. Their meanings are very opposite of one another and if a person is to love, then how can they hate also? As Christians love is to be top priority. As a matter of fact, if we claim to be Christ’s disciples, it is proven when we love one another (John 13:35). When love is present, we then have the ability to obey anything the word of God has instructed us to do. We are not only commanded to love, but to hate as well. If we are called to love, how are we also commanded to hate? Let’s look at love first.
In the letter to the Romans, Paul is now outlining marks of a true Christian. He begins by saying that our love should be genuine. This suggests that some individuals may have an outward appearance of being a loving individual, but on the inside that characteristic is not authentic. Demonstrations of love must be real and believable. In other words, do not let your love be a kind of playacting. Some Christians have the reputation for coming across as being plastic. They use phrases often without thinking about them, causing some to not sense from them authentic love. We have to be certain that we communicate to other people that we are loving, and this is simply done when our love is authentic. Authenticity is never mistaken.
On the other hand, we are also called to hate, but pay close attention to what we are to hate. Paul did not say that we are to hate one another, but that evil is to be hated. We all sin and fall short of God’s glory, but we do not hate one another, rather we are to hate the evil that may be present. We do not only hate the evil of others, but the evil found in us as well. When something is hated, it is pushed aside. When we push aside evil, we are then commanded to grab on to something else that takes evil’s place, and that is anything that is good. Our Christian character should be that of authentic love and hate for evil.
Shad E. Comeaux lives in the Houston area with his wife Carranda. He is the author/founder of the Daily Inspiration Email Ministry and is the devotional editor for Brothaonline.com. An ordained elder he attends the Good Hope Missionary Baptist Church in Houston, under the leadership of Dr. D.Z. Cofield.