Short answer, we don’t.
First of, let me say that not all people who call themselves Christians are followers of Christ and children of God. If someone is being hateful towards another person, that is not of God. But if someone hates sin and every wrong path, that is understanding.
How sweet are your words to my taste, sweeter than honey to my mouth! Through your precepts I get understanding; therefore I hate every false way.
Psalm 119:103-104 ESV
You see, there is a difference between those burdened by religion and those freed to walk in the Holy Spirit of Christ. To the lost and to the religious, the Word of God is closed, the beauty of it isn’t yet revealed, and it seems like a burdensome list of laws, judgement, and condemnation because it is like a bright light shining into their darkness. Some would use religion to measure and compare themselves against others, and foolishly judging others and foolishly trying to twist the Word of God to justify their hatred of others. That is NOT the Word of God. That is not His work, but it is the enemy of truth at work in this world.
But a child of God sees the beauty and truth and helpful guidance that we receive from the Word of God. We have accepted that we are imperfect, but we aren’t content remaining where we are. We understand that we are in the midst of darkness, but we are crying out to the Lord, seeking the light, seeking change, loving and following and obeying His words and precepts. And at some point, we aren’t doing it out of fear of punishment, or our of hope for rewards or honor – but we realize the great value of this free gift of grace and eternal life, and we are grateful for His mercy and love.
Yes, he teaches us to love His ways – to love them so strongly – that in comparison, we hate everything else that is not part of the light. But this hate does not extend to our brothers and sisters of flesh and blood – they are not our enemies. In fact, even if they are deep in sin and under control by their flesh and the temptations and enticements of this world – they are exactly the sort that we were before He laid His hand on our life.
So we don’t hate the person that is lost and a prisoner to sin and worldliness and lawlessness – we love them, we understand their struggle, we understand their pain. But we do hate the sin that has wrapped itself around them and that weighs them down, that steals their breath of life and leads them into death. We know that they need the healing and abundant life that can only be experienced in the freedom of a life delivered by Jesus Christ being Lord of their Life and Savior and Redeemer.
You see, great love for God will result in great hate for evil and wickedness and darkness. We cannot be touched by the hand of God, by His presence, and remain unchanged. We cannot remain with divided loyalties. We will love one and hate the other. If we are lukewarm, if we are conformed to the ways of the world, if we are a person with no clear direction and purpose other than self – how can we remain content with serving ourselves instead of serving the one true God and Savior of this world Jesus Christ?
So yes, I hate sin. In fact, I hate every false path, every sin. And in comparison to my one love, my one portion and prize in Jesus Christ, I do hate. But I hate in love, because my sword is not aimed at you, friend. It is offered to you to use against your captor. I cannot strike him down for you. You must decide for yourself, whether or not you will use this sword, this Word of God, to crucify your flesh daily and to know victory and freedom in your life.
No more heart of stone, you too can know the sweetness of His words, the mercies of His Grace, the Glory of His power poured out into your life, as you learn to love. We are all in need of the Bread of Life and the Blood of the Lamb. We all need more Christ in our lives today.
Be content with your house, your home, your washes, the things of this world – but please, don’t ever become content with how much Jesus Christ you have in your life. Seek to be drawn ever closer to God. Seek His face and find it in a life surrendered. Know the amazing grace that gives us strength, that bears the fruit of His Spirit alive in us. Know who you are in His eyes. Remember the price paid on the cross by our faithful and loving and righteous and just God.
Love with godly love. Hate with godly love. Live your life righteously and upright with godly love.
If you do not have godly love, ask for Him to be Lord over your life, to forgive you for your many sins, to wash you clean by the sacrificial blood of His perfect and blameless life, and to give you the Holy Spirit, that will guide you, teach you, and comfort you. And you too will taste these beautiful words that nourish our soul for eternity, and you will bear the fruit that the world longs for.