God is love, that is what scripture tells us (1 John 4:8). This world that God created, He created it out of love. God then made man and He also did this out of love. God created this large universe and all of His creation out of love. Yet, there is one question that has been on my mind lately – why is hate so prevalent. Why do we each other so much?

Hate fills the hearts of so many people in our world today. Hatred has a way of blinding people from both reality and the plight of others. An acquaintance tried his hand at answer my question and said that hatred comes from that evil flesh. Some will agree with this but that’s too simple of an answer for my taste. Today, I want to focus on hate and try to figure out where it comes from and how we can kill it before it kills us.

Where does hate come from?

If we are looking for a person, the quick and easy answer to this question would be the devil. However, as I have started to point out recently, we need to stop giving the devil so much power. We give Satan way too much authority over us. I also feel that we love to use him as an excuse for our behavior. We love to say, “the devil made me do it!” mostly because it removes us from taking accountability. So we need to look beyond that excuse and look deeper into this matter.

Psychology Today, wrote an article in November 2017 on the psychology of hate. In it, the author quotes Psychologist Bernard Golden who said:

“Acts of hate are attempts to distract oneself from feelings such as helplessness, powerlessness, injustice, inadequacy and shame. Hate is grounded in some sense of perceived threat. It is an attitude that can give rise to hostility and aggression toward individuals or groups. Like much of anger, it is a reaction to and distraction from some form of inner pain. The individual consumed by hate may believe that the only way to regain some sense of power over his or her pain is to preemptively strike out at others. In this context, each moment of hate is a temporary reprieve from inner suffering.”

Psychologist Bernard Golden

This is a very provocative thought on hate. In scripture, we find hate crops up in nearly every characteristic mentioned he mentioned above: helplessness, powerlessness, inadequacy, and shame. Let me show three examples from the first two books in our bibles.

After presenting their offerings to the Lord, Cain grew angry that the Lord did not respect his offering of fruit (Gen. 4:3-5). God respected the offering of his brother, Abel, which caused Cain to grow angry and kill his brother. Joseph’s brothers hated him so much that they threw him in a pit to die before choosing to sell him into slavery (Gen. 37:18-28). In Exodus 1:9-10, we see that a Pharaoh moved to enslave the children of Israel out of fear of how mighty they could become in the land.

What would possess a man to act in such a manner towards his fellow man? Inadequacy and jealousy caused Cain to move against his brother. Fear and jealousy of Joseph’s dreams caused Joseph’s brothers to sell him into slavery. Fear of and powerlessness against the children of Israel made Pharaoh feel it necessary to enslave the Israelites.

The psychologist said that hatred is a reaction to and distraction from some inner pain. He describes hate as an action that provides a temporary reprieve from some inner suffering. Typically, when doctors talk about the inner, they are referring to thoughts. However, there is something that drives our inner thoughts and it is not our brain but our soul.

Hate from the soul

Hate is not natural to us. By this I mean that hate is something that we are either taught or it is something that we learn. No child is born hating anybody! Our children will play with anybody regardless of race or gender. Our nature is to enjoy life as best as we can. I was joking with my brother the other day that we mostly like to look for our next laugh and enjoy life.

Sadly, hate pollutes the joy of living doesn’t it. I want to point out something the Lord says to Cain just before he kills his brother. In what God says, we find out where hate comes from.

7 If you do well, will you not be accepted? And if you do not do well, sin lies at the door. And its desire is for you, but you should rule over it.”

Genesis 4:7 NKJV

Sin is always waiting for you to open up the door and let it inside. Who has power over the door?

The nature of sin is not something that is physical but it is something that is spiritual. Therefore, the nature of hate comes from the inner man – comes from the inside. We then manifest hate through our actions which is somewhat similar to what we say about love. We would say that love is an action. Hate, in other words, corrupts and pollutes our soul.

I liken hate to a contagious virus in that it has a way of causing others to hate. The day we stop teaching, preaching, and falling ill to the virus of hate may be the day that hate dies. God I believe tells Cain, and therefore us as well, that we should rule over sin. We have the power to choose what we are going to do. Sinning, believe it or not, is a choice. Hatred, just like sin, is also a choice as well. We can choose to close the door and keep the door closed to both!

Treat people the way you want to be treated

Jesus, in our key verse, says:

12 Therefore, whatever you want men to do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets.

Matthew 7:12 NKJV

We can choose the type of person that we want to be. I would hope that all of us choose to not be a person that is full of hatred. To remove hatred from our soul we must take away the anger, the rage, and most importantly we must take away the pride.

If you take a look at the three separate cases I referred to earlier: Cain, Joseph’s brothers, and the Pharaoh – their pride got the better of them. Hurt pride drove the anger and hatred that led Cain to kill his brother. It was their hurt pride that fueled the anger and hatred that led Joseph’s brothers to do the unthinkable. Hurt pride is what drove the anger and hatred of the Israelite people for Pharaoh.

We must reflect God

Pride, in my opinion, is our biggest flaw. Pride is what failed Satan, and if we allow it, pride will fail us as well. In order for us to kill hatred, we must let go of our pride.

God created us, mankind, in His image (Gen. 1:27). We, especially as genuine believers, need to allow others to see His reflection when they take a look at us! So let us let go of our pride and reflect His image into our world. Let our actions reflect that of the image of the Lord.

Rev. Martin L. King once said, “Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.” Hatred is defeated in the presence of the Lord. Sadly, the reflection of the Lord is being veiled more and more in the present world. Let us not conform to and be a part of this world! Regardless of how the world is, let us allow others to see God in us

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