“Hate” is an extremely strong word that I use far too loosely in my vocabulary. Things I “hate”: pumping gas, doing laundry and waking up in the morning.
God doesn’t hate any of these things, so I shouldn’t either.
Realistically, I don’t actually hate doing my chores and waking up in the morning. When I think about it, there isn’t anything I truly hate, just a lot of things I really dislike. There’s something about when people say God hates something that makes me have to hold down my urge to punch them in the throat.
And, though it is hard for me to grasp, God doesn’t hate anyone, either. No matter how angry they make us, no matter what atrocities they commit. Jesus tells us, during the Sermon on the Mount, to not let our anger control us, but to address it in love and to pray for those who persecute us.
REALLY? Someone enters a school and shoots kindergarteners and I’m supposed to pray for him? Three people die and many are injured at a marathon and I’m supposed to bless those responsible? A man with a gun enters a classroom on my college campus, opens fire and kills five people and I’m expected to forgive him and pray for his forgiveness?
Yep. I struggle with this concept every minute of every day. And then I come home at night and ask God to forgive them, and help me to forgive them. Because they’re the ones who need God the most. And, as disciples, we aren’t supposed to respond to anger, evil and persecution with anger, revenge and persecution. We’re supposed to do what Jesus did, and pray.