As a born-again Christian, I was brought up knowing that hate was a negative emotion that provoked negative outcomes. As time goes on, I have come to learn more and more about hate from the scriptures and even noticed the several mentions of the word in the Bible. Coincidentally, our last week’s Bible study was about hate. Among the topics we discussed were the definition of this word and what the Bible says about hate. We opened our discussion with the question, “how many times is hate mentioned in the Bible?”
Hate is mentioned more than 50 times in the Bible. Some verses use words like abhor, despise, detest, and abominate in place of hate. From the scripture, we see hate being portrayed in different ways, both negatively and in a Godly way.
In this article, I will analyze hate, what the Bible teaches about it, and how Christians should deal with hate. Keep reading to learn more.
What is the Biblical definition of hate?
In the Bible, hate is seen as a negative emotion that goes against the teachings of love, forgiveness, and reconciliation. Jesus Christ taught his followers in Matthew 5:44 to love their enemies and bless those persecuting them. Furthermore, Paul also urged believers to put away hate and bitterness Ephesians 4:31. He emphasizes the need to let go of negative emotions and instead cultivate a spirit of love and forgiveness. I John 2:9 also highlights that hate is incompatible with a life of faith and is contrary to the teachings of Christianity.
What does the Bible say about hate?
According to the Bible, hate is a feeling that can be both sinful and Godly, depending on what is stirring the hatred in you. The Bible tells us to love good and despise (hate) evil (Amos 5:15). This passage shows us an example of hate in the Godly way. The Bible also tells us that the Lord loves those who hate evil (Psalms 97:10). From these passages, we learn that we are encouraged to hate evil.
The Bible also talks about hate as a sin. As Christians, we are taught that love is one of the most important values is love. Hate is the opposite of that love and is a driving force behind wicked actions. The Bible tells us that hate stirs up trouble (Proverbs 10:12) and that anyone who hates a brother or sister is in darkness (1 John 2:11). We are discouraged from hating one another as anyone who claims to love the Lord yet hates a brother or sister is a liar (1 John 4:20).
From the above Biblical passages, we see that it is important to know what is right to hate and what we should not hate. We should remember to balance our feelings and always be hateful towards sin and what God hates, as the Bible tells us that there is time to love and time to hate (Ecclesiastes 3:8).
Examples of hate in the Bible
This verse tells us that Israel loved his son Joseph more than his other sons. This made the other sons hate Joseph, and they would not speak to him.
This passage warns us about the things God hates the most, seven that He detests; these include pride, a tongue that lies, anyone who kills innocent people, a mind that is wicked, feet that are quick to commit evil, a false witness and a person who ignites trouble among others.
This verse tells that God hates the wicked with passion.
1 Kings 22:8
In this verse, the King of Israel tells Jehoshaphat that he hates the only prophet who they can enquire of the Lord as he never prophesies anything good about the King.
This verse reveals that God hates falsehood.
In this passage, we are told that God loved Jacob and hated his Esau and devastated his hill country, and left his land to the desert jackals.
This passage tells us about the hate the disciples would receive because of following Jesus. Jesus encourages them to stand firm, and they will be saved in the end.
In this verse, we are told that one cannot serve two masters, for he will love and hate the other, or he will be loyal to one and despise the other. Similarly, we cannot serve both God and money.
God says that He will turn against those who disobey Him, and those who hate them will rule over them.
This passage tells us about the rebellion of the Israelites against the command of the Lord. They grumbled to one another that the Lord hated them.
In this verse, Jesus tells the disciples that whoever hates them hates Him first.
What does the Bible say about holding hate in your heart?
According to the scripture, hate towards others is a sin that may lead to wicked actions. We are therefore encouraged to get rid of all bitterness and anger so that there will be no more feelings of hate (Ephesians 4:31). We should forgive those who have wronged us instead of holding hatred in our hearts. The scripture is clear that we should not seek revenge or bear grudges against each other but love our neighbors as ourselves (Leviticus 19:18).
How do you deal with hatred in the heart?
As Christians, as much as we try to adhere to God’s word, sometimes we may be overcome by emotions and hold hatred, especially towards others, either knowingly or unknowingly. When we find ourselves in these situations, we should pray to God and ask Him to fill our hearts with His Holy Spirit and its fruits (Galatians 5:22).
We should also pray for those who have wronged us instead of hating them. The Bible teaches us that we should love our enemies and pray for those who persecute us so that we may become the children of heaven (Mathew 5:44).
How do you release hatred from your heart?
As a Christian, releasing hatred from your heart involves recognizing its harmful effects (Mathew 5:22-21) and seeking God’s forgiveness and guidance (1 John 1:9). Furthermore, to completely get rid of hatred, we should practice praying for those you harbor hatred towards (Mathew 5:44) and filling your heart with love through meditation on Scripture Philippians 4:8. By acknowledging the negative impact of hatred and seeking forgiveness and reconciliation as stated in the Bible, you will be able to transform your heart and cultivate a spirit of love and compassion.
They say that the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree, right? Being raised by Christians significantly impacted my life since I started professing Christ from a young age. My passion for the Christian faith made me pursue a degree in Religious studies and a Masters in Theology. I am a believer and pastor dedicated to spreading the word of God. I have been in the Christian ministry for over a decade and am currently ministering in Life Christian Church. I have also been privileged to teach 4 Christian courses in a college and university. Please check the About Us Page for more details.