The little four-letter word “hate” can be a very powerful and damaging word depending on the context in which it is used. Therefore, people should be very careful about how carelessly they use the word. I would venture to say that if people were afforded the opportunity to see real hatred in action, they would probably think twice before allowing the word to flow freely from their lips like water flowing from an open faucet.
The dictionary defines the word “hate” as follows: “to dislike intensely or passionately; feel extreme aversion for or extreme hostility toward; detest.” Some examples of this usage of the word would be: (1) to hate the enemy, or (2) to hate bigotry. Of course, the word “hate” can also mean: “to be unwilling; dislike” as in, “I hate to do it,” but it is the former usage that is of great concern.
It is the first usage of the word, especially when a person says to another person, “I hate you”, that can cut through the heart of a person like a hot knife cutting through butter. Those three little words, “I hate you”, usually said in a moment of rage and not always truly meant, can cause unimaginable irreparable damage in any type of relationship. An adolescent may shriek that to mother when he or she is denied some monetary pleasure. An adult may yell that to a neighbor, as in the Hatfields and the McCoys in the Appalachia – a feud involving decades of bloodshed in America’s most famous vendetta . . . . kindled by Civil War loyalties, young love and a stolen pig. The damage can sometimes take a lifetime to reconcile. That is why even if we are furious with someone, we need to be careful what we say, whether we mean it or not.
If we are Christians we need to be especially careful about saying things like, “I hate my brother” because the scriptures clearly warn us in 1 John 4:20, “If a man say, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar: for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen?” We are also exhorted in 1 John 3:15, “Whosoever hateth his brother is a murderer: and ye know that no murderer hath eternal life abiding in him.” Solomon, perhaps one of the wisest men that ever lived, reminds us in Proverbs 10: 12, “Hatred stirreth up strifes: but love covereth all sins.” And we are taught in Ephesians 4:29, “Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers.”
Hatred towards another is a builder of walls and barriers that cause undue strife and division. It stifles any chance for reasoning and understanding, and alienates love completely. It receives its nourishment from unrelenting anger and pent up frustration, and has a disdain for people in general. At all cost, hatred should always be our foe, and never our friend. We must learn that we can never combat hatred with more hatred. The only thing that is accomplished in so doing is that the hot, glowing embers are kept ever burning, and at any given moment could burst into a raging fire that becomes out of control. The only way to combat hatred is through love and a genuine understanding which in time tears down the walls and barriers which hatred has built. Hatred causes nothing but pain and misery, but love brings about ultimate restoration and reconciliation. In any case, hatred does far more damage to the hater than it does to the hated. It is a cancer of the soul. It gives no peace, and demands continual justification. Therefore, as for me, I resolve to hate no more forever.