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Balancing Love and Hate

Read Psalm 97:1-12


A friend of mine likes to quote a beatitude that he has either invented or borrowed: "Blessed are the balanced." It's a good point. We can't easily walk unless we're balanced. When I was learning how to ride a bicycle, my parents put me on one and gave me a push, but I could not keep balanced. To roller skate, ice skate or ski, you've got to maintain balance.


This is also true of the Christian life. That's why the psalmist says, "You who love the Lord, hate evil!" (v. 10). There's a balance for you. Christians are not supposed to hate one another, but they are supposed to hate evil.


We can have one of several attitudes toward the evil in the world today. First, we can defend it. I don't see how Christians can do that, but there are those who do. There are even those who promote it.


They're playing right into the hands of Satan. Or, we can close our eyes and ignore it, like the priest and the Levite in the parable of the Good Samaritan, who passed by on the other side. Or we can endure it and say, "Well, it's here, and I'll just grit my teeth and clench my fists and put up with it." But the Word of God says we should hate it and oppose it.


We hate evil because we love the Lord. If we love Him, we love the things He loves and hate the things He hates. This is also true in human relationships. When you love someone, you love the things he or she loves, and you want to share those things. When God judges evil, we want to be on His side. We don't want to be like Lot, who, though it grieved his soul, tolerated the evil in Sodom. Everything Lot lived for was burned up when Sodom went up in smoke (Gen. 19). "He preserves the souls of His saints; He delivers them out of the hand of the wicked." God is on our side. And if God is for us, who can be against us?


* * *


What is your attitude toward evil in the world? If you love the Lord, you cannot remain neutral. You must hate evil and oppose it, for it is dangerous to tolerate it. Ask God for the strength to take a stand against evil and be a witness to those who practice it.


Baker Books, a division of Baker Publishing Group (bakerpublishinggroup.com). Used by permission. All rights to this material are reserved. Material is not to be reproduced, scanned, copied, or distributed in any printed or electronic form without permission from Baker Publishing Group.

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