The Bible says “These six things doth the Lord hate: ... a proud look, a lying tongue, hands that shed innocent blood, an heart that deviseth wicked imaginations, feet that be swift in running to mischief, a false witness that speaketh lies, and he that soweth discord among brethren” (Proverbs 6:16-19). And “Thou (Jesus Christ) hast loved righteousness, and hated iniquity; therefore God, even thy God, hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows” (Hebrews 1:9).
Throughout the Bible we discover things that God both hates and loves and which Christians in turn are to hate and love in order to be like Jesus.
Since God is holy, then He is also moral and must hate and oppose that which is unholy. And since Christians are to be holy as God is holy (Leviticus 11:44; 1 Peter 1:15), then they must make the moral choice to love the good and hate the evil as God does.
One of the activities of the heart, is the emotions. Though our emotions express fear, sorrow, joy, peace, and gladness (John 14:27; Ecclesiastes 11:10; John 16:6; Ecclesiastes 5:20, 11:9; John 16:22; Philippians 4:7; Acts 2:46), what we choose to love and hate (Matthew 22:37; Leviticus 19:17) makes a greater impact on our lives than any of the other emotions.
This is because what we choose to love and hate is making us into the person we will become. What we choose to love and hate is transforming us into a devil or making us more like Jesus.
We know Jesus throughout His earthly ministry “loved righteousness and hated iniquity” (Hebrews 1:9). Walking in righteousness and hating evil gave Him “gladness” that no one else experienced. This was Jesus’ way to happiness and it should be ours as well. His choices made Him the man that He was (Luke 2:52), and He pleased God the Father (Matthew 3:17).
The Christian must love righteousness and hate iniquity as thoroughly and completely as Jesus did in order to be like Him and to please their Heavenly father.
What we love we’re moving toward and becoming more like. What we hate we’re moving away from and becoming less like.
We cannot truly love Jesus Christ and righteousness if we’re obviously becoming more like the world.
The state we’re in is simply a reflection of what we chose to love and hate and how much.
James H. Cagle lives in Ray City, Ga., and is a former Hamilton County resident.