Archive for November 16th, 2018

The Opposite of Love

I know (for most of you, at least) that you read ” the opposite of love” and think “is hate.”

I disagree. (And if you already know what I think about this, please hold your comments until the end. Thanks.)

Hatred comes from one of two places.

The first is loving something/someone so much that you want to protect that love. Anything that interferes with or threatens that bond or the well-being of the object of love is rightfully hated.

“do not devise evil in your hearts against one another, and love no false oath, for all these things I hate, declares the Lord.”
Zechariah 8:17, ESV

As a reminder, this does not mean we hate people. People are acting out from the real problem: sin, the evil within.

We hate the sin. (We can have another conversation at another time about the saying “Love the sinner, hate the sin.” Also, another another conversation can be had about jealousy.)

The second source of hatred is also the true opposite of love.

What is this?

I will ask a few questions to get us there:

  1. What was Adam and Eve’s reaction to hearing God walking through the Garden after eating the fruit? (Genesis 3:10)
  2. What was the reaction of Peter when he saw the wind and the waves when walking on the water?
  3. What is the one reassuring command given throughout Scripture? (for example Deuteronomy 31:6; Joshua 1:9; Isaiah 8:12; Matthew 1:20; Luke 1:13, 30; Philippians 4:6)

Hopefully you see it now!

The opposite of love is fear.

Fear leads to all kinds of craziness, such as avoiding others, making mistakes, hurting others, and even hatred.

This is not to say that fear always leads to hatred. Hatred can come from misplaced love (loving self or something more than is good) or ignorance (both innocent and willful ignorance). This is a mixture of the first source of hatred and fear.

There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love.
1 John 4:18, ESV

Loving others frees us of hatred and the fear of what they may do to us.

Love also frees us of the fear of God’s punishment for our sin, but only when we see the truth that He loved us and showed it by coming as a man to sacrifice Himself for the forgiveness of our sin. This is also what empowers us to love others. (1 John 4:19)

It is also what reminds us that, while we are born into and perpetuate the sin of Adam and Eve, we are freed from that sin.

Thanksgiving Prelude

It is so, incredibly appropriate that Thanksgiving begins the Christmas season. Unfortunately too many people are caught up in the materialism of “doorbuster savings” and getting the newest electronic gismo that will be outdated by the time they get it home, that they fail to take time to be truly thankful. The truth is, if you have a roof over your head, food and clean water, you are better off than most of the people in the world.

This Thanksgiving, be sure to start off the Christmas season right by really setting everything aside, and being thankful for everything God has done for you.

About Jesse Walker

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VerseD: 1 Chronicles 29:13

And now we thank you, our God, and praise your glorious name.
1 Chronicles 29:13 ESV

We must always – ALWAYS – remember to thank God and give Him praise for all He has done and is doing and will do.

In fact, get in the habit of thanking God before asking God.