Love Your Neighbor · Sin · Spreading Love

Don’t Hate the Player, Hate the Game!

I’m sure that you’ve heard that before- “Hate the Game, not the Player!” While it’s not usually directed to a Godly topic, it sure can be!

If you read my last blog post, you’ll remember that I was talking about hatred and anger in a negative way, as a sin, or temptation. Anger is a horrid emotion that makes you hate other people which we are supposed to love. We anger at their sins, and we seem to think of their sins as a direct correlation to the human behind them.

Instead of hating the sins that the sinner has committed, we hate the sinner himself.
Last year, there was a prominent Christian role-model, a man who had stood up for his beliefs for his whole life. It was even a part of his job. He shocked the nation when it was revealed that he had committed some very scandalous sins. Everyone was shocked. The internet exploded. Hatred was- and is- spewed all over the web. Comments quickly flooded everywhere. “What a hypocrite! What a disgusting man! Predator!” etc, etc. You get the point.
People hated him. They focused on all of the mistakes that he had made. His face no longer represents good moral values. Instead, a bad reputation.
A little while back, I came across a Bible verse. At first I wasn’t quite sure what to think.

“O Lord, shouldn’t I hate those who hate you? Shouldn’t I despise those who oppose you? Yes, I hate them with total hatred, for your enemies are my enemies.”                                                                                                                               Psalms 139:21-22

Aren’t we supposed to love our enemies? I was quite shocked. Advice from the Bible telling us to…hate our enemies? I searched through the Bible more. Actually, I remembered the verse from a sermon at church. Sure enough, I turned to it:

“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.”                                                                                                                                Matthew 5:43-44

So which is it? Love your enemy or hate your enemy? Well, I can tell you that it is NOT the latter! God wants us to love our neighbor. After all, Jesus himself said that it is one of the greatest commandments (next to loving God)

“What am I supposed to hate then?” 

You are supposed to hate the sin. Hate everything evil and impure. Hate anything that does not please God. Hate the game, not the player, or in this case, hate the sin, not the sinner.

“If anyone claims,”I am living in the light,” but hates a fellow believer, that person is still living in darkness. Anyone who loves a fellow believer is living in the light and does not cause others to stumble. But anyone who hates a fellow believer is still living and walking in darkness. Such a person does not know the way to go, having been blinded by the darkness.”                                                                                             John 2: 9-11

Hating sin and letting sin anger you is a good type of hatred and anger! We are supposed to hate the abdominal things that God hates! There is a line between hating sin and hating those who sin. Find that line, and stand on the side which hates the sin. Let’s be honest, hating the sinner isn’t getting you anywhere but darkness.

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