Serve The Lord With Gladness

W. Terry Varner
December 6, 2015

Admittedly, the title above seems contradictory. After all hatred is a despicable and horrid emotion that must be squelched at every turn, or should it? Not if its, "good hatred." Good hatred is not to be understood as a loathing for certain foods or animals, such as spinach or snakes. Nor is it to be relegated to the performance of menial tasks such as taking out the garbage or scrubbing out bathrooms. Therefore, good hatred is not a subjective issue based on personal tastes and dislikes. Rather, good hatred is the type of hatred God in His Word demands. Very simply, it is a hatred for Satan and sin and anything that stands in opposition to the all holy God.

Upon the pages of both the Old and New Testaments are recorded God's hatred for sin. If the aim of Christians is to be God like, then an identical hatred of sin must be cultivated in their lives too. The psalmist declared, "Ye that love the Lord, hate evil..." (Psalm 97:10). Three times in the 119th psalm, the inspired writer sets forth the proper kind of hatred that should be shown toward wickedness, "Through thy precepts I get understanding; therefore I hate every false way" (v.104). Apart from an understanding of God's Word, false ways cannot be identified, much less hated, (cf. v.128). David then adds, "I hate and abhor lying; but thy law do I love" (v. 163). As a hatred for sin is brought along, a love for God's law will be nurtured simultaneously. Hatred for sin and love for righteousness, go hand in hand. One truly cannot exist without the other. Hating the same things God hates, hating them to the extent He hates them, is what is meant by the odd sounding term, "good hatred."

Therefore, good hatred is not bad. All hatred is not repulsive and in need of being quelled. Instead, many need to work at developing this kind of hatred. The saints at Rome were instructed, "Abhor that which is evil..." (Romans 12:9). Abhorring evil is not just refusing to endorse it, or staying away from it. That falls short of what God's Word is teaching here. Rather, God's people are to have a loathing disgust for evil. To passionately hate it with every fiber of their spiritual being. That is good hatred. This is the kind of hatred in which God is pleased. Good hatred requires no renouncement or repentance. All it requires is embracement and enrichment on the part of every child of God.