S11P1 – The action of love: proper hate and fear

Romans 12:9
Love is to be sincere and active [the real thing—without guile and hypocrisy]. Hate what is evil [detest all ungodliness, do not tolerate wickedness]; hold on tightly to what is good.

As Christians, love is not merely something we feel; it is something we do. And we are to do it with sincerity, motivated by pure intentions. A critical component of walking in love is learning how to have proper hate. This is hate for all that is evil and works against love. We hate sin but not sinners, betrayal but not the betrayer, the lie but not the liar. If we move beyond hating the wicked act and begin hating the actor, we have lost our love.

The bible tells us that the fear of the Lord is the same as hating evil [Pro. 8:13]. To fear the Lord is to respect Him. This means that one who properly fears the Lord should hate all that is evil. Conversely, if one does not hate all that is evil, he does not fear the Lord as he should. A man’s attitude toward evil will indicate whether he properly respects God. If he claims to love God but also loves wickedness, then his love is not sincere but is hypocritical.

God gives us many spiritual barometers by which we can gauge whether we are walking according to His instruction. Our attitude toward sin and evil is a clear indicator of our faith as it shows our attitude toward God. And our attitude toward God should control our attitude toward sin. Father, correct any way in us that keeps our love from being sincere, and teach us even today how to have a proper fear of You.