Haters Gonna’ Hate!

Our society has become consumed with “haters.” People who jump online, or on TV, and tear apart vulnerable people over some perceived weakness, or difference of opinion. An example, the poor father who had to watch as his 2-year old was dragged off by an alligator, and the ensuing vitriol “shared” on social media.

Or, the news media wreaks havoc on the world with lies, distortions, and misinformation, because the story doesn’t support their progressive agenda calling out all those who don’t support Gay marriage, transgender bathrooms, illegal immigration, or abortion on demand. These people claim that Christians are the haters, and need to change their beliefs to allow everyone to live however they choose. Meanwhile, there are Christians who are claiming that God’s judgment is coming on people because of their sin. We have groups picketing funerals of military members because of their own perception of how God loves.

There are haters, and there are Haters. Everyone hates something. But, some hate because they don’t know love. Christians are often hateful over sinners just being sinners. This is because they don’t truly know the love of God. Many condemn the alcoholic and the drug addict, the homosexual, and the adulterer, but forget that sin is sin. God hates sin. He loves people. God hates the sin of gossip as much as that sin that drives people to destroy their lives with substance abuse. He hates gluttony and lying as much as murder. But right here is when the Christian will shout, “Don’t judge me, bro’! We’re under grace, and God loves me just the way I am. Who are you to call me out?”

Let’s look at what God had to say about judging, and calling out sin.

“You shall not hate your brother in your heart. You shall surely rebuke your neighbor and not bear sin because of him.” Leviticus 19:17 NKJV

In this passage, God instructed the Israelites NOT to hate, but also to be sure to rebuke sin. What does “rebuke” mean”?

According to Dictionary.com, rebuke means: to express sharp, stern disapproval of, reprove, reprimand.

We are to love others but rebuke sin. This flies in the face of what most people think, whether they be Christians or non-Christians. People today either hate sinners, hate Christians, or have convinced themselves that love means you never tell anyone that what they are doing is sin. That’s hating, they think.

Clearly, God thinks differently.

“He said to them, ‘All too well you reject the commandment of God, that you may keep your tradition.'” Mark 7:9 NKJV

In other words, they don’t let the Bible get in the way of what they think or believe.

“Those who are sinning rebuke in the presence of all, that the rest may also fear.” 1 Timothy 5:20

“Preach the word! Be ready in season and out of season. Convince, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and teaching.” 2 Timothy 4:2

“As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten. Therefore be zealous and repent.” Revelation 3:19

As we can see from this last verse, God equates loving people with rebuking them. Now, before you go off the road in the other ditch, that does not mean that God beats them down, makes them sick, or takes away all their money. That is not the character of God. God uses words, or more specifically, the Word, to rebuke, reprove, or reprimand us. (2 Timothy 3:16)

If you ignore his rebuke, you may experience sickness, emotional distress, or financial loss, but that will not be from God. That will be a result of your rebellion.

“Faithful are the wounds of a friend, but the kisses of an enemy are deceitful.” Proverbs 27:6

Jesus said he was the Friend who sticks closer than a brother. Faithful are the wounds of a friend. In other words, when a friend tells you the truth it may hurt your feelings. It may make you embarrassed, or cause you some turmoil because what they say isn’t what you wanted to hear. But when it’s the truth, it’s what you needed to hear. And if you listen, you will be the better for it. More importantly, when that Friend tells you the truth, you will be an overcomer because of it. If you will listen, and obey.

Plenty of people say they are your friends but, these people believe it’s okay to tell you lies. They will tell you that God’s word doesn’t always work, or that they knew someone who believed what you are and they died, or they went broke, etc. Regardless of how much that person says they “love” you, they have made themselves your enemy by speaking against the word of God. They are being deceitful. It may be their own ignorance speaking, and they may have good intentions. But they are trying to steal the word from your heart. Don’t let them. Believe God over what any person says. Hold onto his truth. It might hurt for a short time, but it will “yield the peaceable fruit of righteousness.” (Hebrews 12:11 NKJV)

One final note; people who don’t have a relationship with you are not authorized to speak into your life. Remember, it said the wounds of a “friend” are faithful. That suggests relationship. Be wise about who you let speak rebuke and reproof into your life. A parent, a mentor, a friend, a teacher, a coach, a pastor, are examples of those who may have relationship with you.

But, also realize, this means that you are not authorized to reprove or rebuke your classmates, or the guy on the street, or anyone else with whom you don’t have a relationship. Can we recognize and speak out against sin? Yes! Can we reprove and correct just anyone we believe is acting in sin? No. 

Remember, God loves you and so do I. We desire for you to walk in All God’s Best, always! God loves you just as you are, but he loves you far too much to leave you that way!

To learn more about God’s love and compassion for us, check out these related posts (click on the title for the link):

No Good Thing Will He Withhold From …

If you live in Colorado Springs, join us on Tuesday evenings, at 6:45 pm for more of God’s transforming word. 3945 Surrey Lane, 80919.

You can also get a copy of my book, a book on the liberty we have in Christ (not nutrition as the title may suggest) on Amazon: Eat Healthy … Most of the Time!