Compassionate Hate

compassionGod hates sin. It is detestable to him. He hates what sin has done to this world. He hates what it has done to relationships–with his people and our relationships with one another. All throughout the books of Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy, 1 & 2 Kings and in the Prophets, God declares his hate for sin. God doesn’t mince words either. He outright calls out sin for what it is and He calls out His people when they fall into the life of sin.

God is a compassionate God. We hear that a lot in the Old Testament. He is slow to anger and abounding in love. He is also a jealous God. He is zealous for His people. But what His people do downright tick him off. And yet He still loves them and His mission throughout the Bible is to seek out His people and bring them back to Himself.

Why?

Because He compassionately hates sin. God is compassionate. In his compassion He loves and cares for His people. He hates how sin has distorted His people. He hates how sin has corrupted His people. He hates how sin has distorted relationships. He outright hates sin.

That doesn’t mean He hates us. His anger does burn fiercely against the things that happen which separate us form Him, which separate us from each other. And because of His compassion for His people, He sent Jesus to come to live and to die for us. And during His whole life on earth, especially at the end, Jesus endured God’s wrath towards sin upon Himself.

I hate sin too. I hate what it does to me. I hate what it does to others. I hate how it breaks relationships and forces us to be suspicious of others and not to trust. I hate how it distorts relationships between people. I hate it.

Some years back, I worked as a mall cop at a very…uhm…active urban mall. In other words, I dealt a lot with the harsh realities that sin creates. I dealt with theft from vehicles, theft of vehicles. I broke up fights. I was punched in fights (I even was bitten by a pregnant woman breaking up a dispute between her and her baby-daddy…but so not getting into that one). I saw shoplifters having their children taken away by the police because they had their children with them when they were caught shoplifting. I saw the breaking of trust people had for one another. I saw the ravages of sin in the lives of people. And it hurt me.

I would get so angry I would actually drop the “F Bomb” from time to time to express my disgust. It wasn’t good.

Out of God’s compassion for us, He hates what sin has done to us and to this world.

At the same time, He gives us over to what we desire. He gives us what we want. He gives us the desires of our hearts. The problem is, is that the desires of our hearts aren’t always good.

God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts…They exchanged the truth about God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator.” Romans 1:24-25

In His love and compassion, He allowed His people free will. We have the right to love God and follow Him, or choose another path. We can live by His heart’s desires or ours. It hurts when people choose the second not the first. God hates what it does to us. He hates how it hurts us. How it harms us. How it distorts us.

God moved heaven and earth to send His one and only Son, Jesus, to offer us a way back to Himself. He offered us reconciliation–forgiveness and a renewed relationships with Him. God truly is love (1 John 4:8). And in His compassion for His people, He hates what has happened in our lives, in our relationships and in things in general. He desires us to come, broken as we are, to seek Him out for restoration, reconciliation, and relationship.

I hate sin. I hate it abundantly. I hate it when a see a child being bullied. I hate it when I hear of people being hurt, killed, kidnapped. I hate hearing about war and destruction. I hate hearing how people are going hungry. I hate hearing about divorce. I hate it. I hate the sin of this world that is behind it.

So does God.

And He calls us through Jesus to respond to this in love. In compassion. To serve those who are twisted and distorted by sin. To love as Jesus loved. To serve as Jesus served.

This sin, this distortion, will be here until Jesus comes back again. All things are flawed. And it will remain that way until the second coming. Until then, I will compassionately hate sin. I will continue to live out as I have been called, to be a light in the darkness, to be Jesus, and to show the love of Jesus to all, letting them know that there is freedom in Jesus. There is love in God. And there is restoration of relationship with God.

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