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Oh really?

Few husbands think they hate their wives. Few Christians think they hate their fellow church members. Few children think they hate their parents. Few non-Christians think they hate anyone. I’ve never met a single person who considered himself a thoroughly hateful individual, though I know many who consider themselves quite loving.

But if hate is the opposite of everything love is, where does that leave us?

Hate is impatient and unkind; hate is jealous and proud; hate is arrogant and rude.  Hate always insists on doing things its way; hate gets upset over every offense and keeps a close record of every wrong.  Hate does not delight to see good things, but rejoices when people screw up or get what’s coming to them.  Hate complains about anything, is cynical about everything, has no hope for anyone, and puts up with nothing.

Kyrie eleison.

Praise God, he already has (Rom. 5:8; 1 John 4:9-10).

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24 thoughts on “But I Don’t Hate Anyone”

  1. Christian Mann says:

    I see what you did here.

    …man….I just realized I hate a lot of people. Sometimes, I hate my own wife.

    This is really eye opening, thank you. I’m also reminded from where we define “love” must also be from where we define “hate”.

    Just as the world has reinvented love to be sentimental emotions, so has hate been perverted to mean nothing more than rage & disgust.

    Well now I just hate myself.

  2. Rose says:

    Did God hate Esau?

  3. MG Braatz says:

    That was eye opening, to say the least…

  4. KS says:

    What about the middle ground between love and hate? What about indifference? Rewriting 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 yourself to explain hate seems too simplistic to me.

  5. Jim Watkins says:

    I tend to think of indifference as the opposite of love. If hate is not the opposite of love, does that change your point here?

  6. I don’t think the point is so much whether ‘hate’ is the proper word here. Even if it isn’t, there is still a great deal of merit in looking at how much we ‘anti-love’ — to coin a term without connotations. Whether you term this ‘anti-love’ as ‘hate’ or as ‘indifference’ or as something else, the point remains: we do the exact opposite of loving. A lot.

  7. Brian says:

    I don’t quite get where the “Praise God, he already has” flows from.

  8. Mark says:

    Brian–“Praise God, he already has” flows from Kyrie Eleison, or “Lord, have mercy.”

  9. Jay Beerley says:


    He was responding to the Lord having mercy, Kyrie Eleison. The Lord has certainly already show us mercy.


    I don’t think the “hate” in Romans 9 is the same thing. Haven’t done a word study, but I think that would be exegetically correct.

  10. Rose says:

    Thanks, Jay. I agree that the word “hate” in reference to Esau would not be the opposite of love. Because of that, I do wonder whether it is proper to speak of hate as being the opposite of love. Kind of a silly point, given the post, which is making an important point in making us think whether we really do love the way we think we do. Nevertheless, I think it is good for us to be careful how we use the language.

  11. Yes, it is sad. I think we hate one another more often than we actually love one another.

  12. Truth Unites... and Divides says:

    I hate this post.


  13. Jay Beerley says:

    Interestingly enough, Carl Trueman drops this about hate today as well…

    Still not totally relevant to the exegetical feel of the post, but relevant to our use of words like “love” and “hate.”

  14. “…and whatever is not from faith is sin (Rom 14:23).”

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Kevin DeYoung

Kevin DeYoung is the senior pastor at Christ Covenant Church in Matthews, North Carolina. He is chairman of the board of The Gospel Coalition, assistant professor of systematic theology at Reformed Theological Seminary (Charlotte), and a PhD candidate at the University of Leicester. Kevin and his wife, Trisha, have seven children. You can follow him on Twitter.

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