It’s rampant, running loose with its goal of destruction. It’s everywhere, though it tries to hide. It robs. It kills. And everywhere you turn, it’s ignored. As bad, as destructive, as horrible as it is, folks try to live as if it doesn’t even exist.
In an attempt to bring about peace and harmony, we are being persuaded more and more to deny sin’s existence. “If we don’t call it what it is, maybe we can all get along.” No more judgment. No more hate. What a happy day that will be, right?
But you mistake my hate.
We’ve often heard it said, “God loves the sinner, but hates the sin.” Oh, glorious truth that has been cheapened by the vain attempts to live in accord with one another. It’s turned into, “If there’s no sin, there’s nothing for God, or each other, to hate anymore!”
But you mistake my hate.
You mistake God’s hate.
Is there anyone among us that does not hate cancer? Is there any among us that can sit in a hospital recovery room, seeing the pain on the face of the one who has just had surgery, loving that person with every fiber of our being, without also being perfectly capable of profoundly hating the cancer that is causing such suffering?
I have watched both of my parents go through cancer surgery. I have watched what cancer did to their bodies before they had its presence removed. They were robbed of health. They were robbed of joy. They were robbed of peace. Life took on new meaning as they searched for answers to the cause of their pain. And when they were given the word, the dreaded, awful C-word, they were frightened. They were angry. They were overwhelmed.
But, they were loved.
They were filled with a physical evil that asks no questions and takes no prisoners, but they were loved.
And they fought.
They did not believe for one moment that giving cancer a new name, or that saying, “Oh, it’s really not bad,” would take it away.
They fought. They knew cancer had to go.
And they were loved.
Before they knew, they were loved. When they questioned “Why,” they were loved. When they took on the war and fought a good fight, they were loved. When they were healing, they were loved.
Don’t mistake the hate.
Sin is like a cancer that moves through our bodies, destroying everything in its path. Sin doesn’t care who the person is; it asks no questions and takes no prisoners. Sin robs of spiritual health. Sin robs of joy. Sin robs of peace.
Sin gives power to the enemy and it kills.
Why would I not hate it, for myself and on behalf of others?
Sin has got to go, and the only way it can go is by the saving power of Jesus Christ.
If I try to rename it, or ignore it, or lessen its stigma by making the choice to accept it and calling it “progress,” "a choice," "a lifestyle," it still remains. And it’s still evil. It will still rob of joy. It will still rob of peace. And it will still let the enemy in so he can kill.
I hate sin because God tells me to. And I have learned from Him how to love the sinner. I was once an unforgiven one. So I know what it looks like to be loved anyway.
Jesus. On the cross. Dying for my sin. Dying in my place. He hated sin, too.
He didn’t rename it. He didn’t accept it. He called it what it was. And He died to take it away, because He loved the sinner while hating the sin.
Don’t mistake His hate, because it sure looks like love to me.
©2014 Wendi Miller
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