There are certain things we all do that we regret. Working so much at the expense of your family. Not standing up to a bully at school. Staying in touch with a good friend. Worry about what others think about me. I don’t know what your list is, but you have one. We all do. Things we hate about ourselves or things we wish we had done differently.
Missteps and faux paus most times can be turned around, but some mistakes that we do take longer to make right. One of those is when we treat people poorly. As John records it, “…hate other believers…”. C. S. Lewis draws the distinction between hating the action of a person, but not the person. Hard to do. In Mere Christianity, he wrote, “ I remember Christian teachers telling me long ago that I must hate a bad man’s actions but not hate the bad man: or, as they would say, hate the sin but not the sinner. …I used to think this a silly, straw-splitting distinction: how could you hate what a man did and not hate the man? But years later it occurred to me that there was one man to whom I had been doing this all my life — namely myself. However much I might dislike my own cowardice or conceit or greed, I went on loving myself. There had never been the slightest difficulty about it. In fact, the very reason why I hated the things was that I loved the man. Just because I loved myself, I was sorry to find that I was the sort of man who did those things.”
Hatred can be both good and bad, but it all depends on what is the ultimate cause behind it. Throughout the scriptures, we see the motivation of loving God and hating that which is evil“Let those who love the Lord hate evil, for he guards the lives of his faithful ones and delivers them from the hand of the wicked” in Psalm 97:10. Also, hating the company of evil people in Psalm 26:5.
The more we become like Jesus and seek to comprehend the love of God, we learn how hatred and bitterness can devastate us. The Scripture tells us that hate is an issue of the heart and believe it or not that anyone who hates his brother is a murderer! 1 John 3:15Anyone who hates a brother or sister is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life residing in him. So here’s a game plan: Love one another, keep short records of wrongs, and forgive others, not holding bitterness or anger in our hearts.