12 Hatred stirreth up strifes: but love covereth all sins.
One of my favorite definitions of hate is “loving one person or thing far more than another.”
This is essentially what Jesus meant when He said “If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple” (Luke 14:26).
A definition of hate that flows out of this definition is “misdirected love.”
Misdirected love is that indifference toward another. Misdirected love is also becoming jealous, envious, of someone else.
How many times have we caused trouble because of our jealousy, envy, or greed?
My answer: a lot!
One of the great things about true and perfect love, that “agape” (greek) or “ahava” (hebrew) love that people “love” to discuss, is that even when misdirected love comes its way it barely notices.
Those who have the love of God, those who “love well,” have that hatred pushed on them, but they do not think any less of the one (or many) doing the hating. In fact, they can even be able to redirect that hatred to reveal the source.
Those who love well can redirect the hatred of others to create peace.
Our Lord redirected hatred, quite masterfully, through the cross. He made a way for us to be reconciled to each other and Himself. He fought through our hatred, washed away our sins, and gave us grace and peace.
13 But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ.
14 For he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us;
15 Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances; for to make in himself of twain one new man, so making peace;
16 And that he might reconcile both unto God in one body by the cross, having slain the enmity thereby:
17 And came and preached peace to you which were afar off, and to them that were nigh.
Gracious Lord, thank You for redirecting our hatred of You and each other into a way You are glorified. Thank You for loving us and redeeming us. Continue to teach us to love as You do. Give us the heart of Christ. Teach us to love You so much that we hate the ways of this world yet love those living in it.