In WHAT SHOULD WE DO WITH OUR HATRED? — PART 1, we introduced the topic.
- We considered the confusion that exists on the subject of hatred. That post suggests a need to discuss the topic and consider what the Bible has to say.
- We observed that the Bible says we should forgive those who hate us, just as Jesus forgave those hated Him.
When we talk about something, even something that it seem obvious that we all understand, we still need to take the time to make certain we all share the SAME understanding of the words we are using. Otherwise, because we have not defined the terminology, we may not be talking about the same thing. Then we will just confuse and anger each other. Therefore, in this post we will consider what it means to hate.
What Is Hatred?
To the folks at “Scientific American”, hatred is a neurological response, The Origin of Hatred. From that perspective, hatred doesn’t seem to be much different from love. Are hatred and love just neurological responses?
Science does not have the means to study the human spirit or a soul. What if we concede there is more to being human than what science can measure? If our thoughts have an existence beyond the means of science to understand, then what exactly is hatred? Who should we ask, the “best” haters?
Oddly, I suspect the people who are most filled with hatred understand hatred the least. Consider how the same anonymous soul defined both hatred and love at urban dictionary (note that activating the links in the definitions will bring up language unsuitable for children).
by Anonymous July 28, 2003
How do we recognize a “hater”? They are angry. Wrath (or anger), not hatred, is one of the seven deadly sins (see Seven deadly sins). Anonymous’ words betrayed his anger, and he seemed to be much more interested in hurting others than informing anyone. Anger, especially when it becomes rage is not conducive to logical thought or seeking the truth. Hence, we have the expression, “seeing red”.
Become angry; lose self-control.
The colour red has many associations – heat, heated emotions and violence, communism, a sign of warning (as in traffic lights etc), ripeness (in fruit etc), the colour representing the British Empire on maps and, of course, blood.
It is widely thought that ‘see red’ derives from the sport of bull-fighting and the toreador’s use of a red cape to deceive the bull. (continued here)
Hatred leads to anger. Anger can be become rage. The Bible directs us to control our anger.
Ephesians 4:26-27 Good News Translation (GNT)
26 If you become angry, do not let your anger lead you into sin, and do not stay angry all day. 27 Don’t give the Devil a chance.
Hatred is not equal to a lost of self-control, but anger to the point of rage is exactly that.
Therefore, the more traditional definition “hatred” is the best.
Observe that the definition does not include what is hated. Could be animal, vegetable or mineral. Could be a person, place or thing. Could be an idea, concept, a belief. Could even be God. Does what we hate make a difference as to whether hatred is right or wrong?
The definition also does not describe the nature of the anger. Is it selfish?
Selfish anger is provoked when we believe we’ve been treated unjustly or unfairly. We want something, we don’t get it, we feel deprived, and now someone is going to pay for having treated us this way (James 4:1-4). The goal is revenge. When driven by vengeance, we demand that someone pay now for the injustice we’ve suffered. We impatiently demand immediate execution of justice according to our specifications, and refuse to allow time for God to work in the hearts of those who have offended us (James 1:19-20). Our anger becomes a caustic acid intended to burn those we feel have burned us unfairly. When offended, we can be ruthless, hard, unreasonable, and devoid of mercy in our response. (from here)
Thus, hatred is not a simple thing. It is an emotional response that motivates us to anger. In the extreme, it motivates us to rage against someone, something, or some idea. Some how we have to control our hatred or be controlled by it.
Should we strive to eliminate our hatred? That we will consider in the next post.
To Be Posted
- Is It Wrong To Hate?
- What Do We Do About Our Own Hatred.