There is nothing evil in hating something per se. This should be evident from the fact that even God is represented as hating in a certain way.
I must note in passing, however, that the attribution of strong feelings to God frequently reflects a biblical figure of speech known as anthropopathism. The term literally refers to human passion. This figure of speech is used to attribute volatile human emotions to non-human objects or even to Deity for the sake of emphasis.
And so, there is a fashion in which God hates.
Similarly, there is also an appropriate expression of hate for us as humans. With that said, however, hatred is real it is a human feeling. It can cause an angry, or resentful emotional response, which can be used against certain people, or ideas. This is not to try and sugarcoat hate.
The Bible admonishes us not to hate. But we practically have to deal with this emotion and practice to control and redirect this energy. We must also understand that there is a difference between hate and anger. Indeed, Hate is often associated with feelings of anger, disgust and a disposition towards the source of hostility.
And like I have already stated hate is an emotion, an energy. As humans we sometimes use this energy when we feel powerless. Rather than turning our anxiety and shame inward, we sometimes may project that negativity onto an external target.
One can argue that hatred is a relatively stable feeling of intense dislike for another person, entity, or group. However, hatred is distinct from short-lived feelings such as anger and disgust. While some forms of animosity may only manifest briefly and mildly, hatred is a form of active, ongoing hostility that often uses up significant emotional energy. When someone feels hatred for another person, they often spend much of their time fixating on their anger, contempt, or dislike of the other person.
Hate is part of the range of human emotions. Some researchers believe all people have the capacity to hate, while others believe true hatred is uncommon. What does seem clear is that hatred tends to emerge as a learned emotion that flourishes in the absence of compassion. If the opposite of hate is love, then anger should be the opposite of compassion.
There are a myriad of reasons why feelings of hatred or intense emotional dislike develop in people. However, for the purposes of this article I have narrowed it to three main reasons:
1). Seek a specific and identifiable outlet for our generalized feelings of anger. Contemporary thinker Rene Girard describes this in detail when he explains his theory on the nature of scapegoating and the function it plays in our social lives. Hate allows us to define clearly who is in our group and who is not. When an individual or group feels tension, and they don’t know how to resolve it, they seek out a scapegoat, express their hatred for it, and then expel it from their world. Once the scapegoat is removed, the individual or group experiences a feeling of unity and peace. That is, until the next time tensions rise and a new scapegoat needs to be found. The key to this pattern is that it replicates each time there is tension, and that tension is expressed by hating the scapegoat.
2). Hate is a simplified method for the difficult task of managing difference. For each of us, there are differences that matter to our community and to ourselves. In some cases it is religion, language, and race. Groups and individuals that manage difference well are often brave and curious, supported by a sense of safety from which they can explore the mysteries and uncertainties of life. However, there are times when the differences around us become too much to bear. These differences threaten our sense of self and our notions of group identity. Such differences become even more acute when they coincide with trauma, violence, and/or humiliation. Vamik Volkan’s book Bloodlines describes this pattern in detail, where he observes how the experience of difference can shift from identity and pride to terrorism and hatred. Rather than accept the instability of a potentially unknowable difference, we choose to hate.
3). Because hatred is energizing. When we feel helpless, frustrated, or disempowered, hating another becomes a way to climb out of those difficult feelings. We can redirect our personal pain to an external, well-defined target. One who feels empowered, motivated and successful has no need for hatred; they have plenty of energy already. For one who is stuck in listlessness, though, hatred can be a shot in the arm.
Most of us have felt a variation of hatred at some point—we become infuriated with people, or we feel serious dislike or revulsion for certain things. Yet we have to learn to deal with hate when it stares us in the face, and the Bible has some clear ideas of how to cope with it.
From my reading and understanding I found that the Bible has one basic word regarding hatred of people and that word is— ‘don’t’.
Indeed, hatred stirs up quarrels, but love covers all offenses. (Proverbs 10:12)
Another scripture reads,
“You have heard that the law of Moses says, `Love your neighbor’ and hate your enemies. But I say, love your enemy! Pray for those who persecute you! In that way, you will be acting as true children of your Father in heaven. For he gives his sunlight to both the evil and the good, and he sends rain on the just and on the unjust, too.” (Matthew 5:43-44)
Jesus Christ mentions hatred in the Sermon on the Mount: “But I tell you that anyone who is angry with his brother will be subject to judgment” (Matthew 5:22).
Jesus Christ furthermore commands us that not only should we be reconciled with our brother before we go before the Lord, but also that we do it quickly (Matthew 5:23-26).
To further illustrate the gravity and seriousness of hate, it was equated to murder. But hatred is a “heart” sin, and any hateful thought or act is an act of murder in God’s eyes for which justice will be demanded, possibly not in this life but at the judgment. So heinous is the position of hate before God that a man who hates is said to be walking in darkness, as opposed to the light (1 John 2:9, 11).
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