Hate can, to some extent, be a very useful thing. When we hate the same thing it can unite the group very quickly. It helps individuals who do not even know each other to unite. For example, as a group we might hate a particular football team. Hatred gives us a sense of certainty and can make us feel superior. It would seem that hate can be more effective than love.
Jesus had a problem with hate and spent much of His time trying to destroy it. When we talk about Jesus saving us, we are actually talking about Jesus saving us from hate which is sin. The devil is the lord of hate and that is why Jesus said that “Satan is the real prince of this world” (John 12:31).
So, why do we love to hate so much? Could it be because fear is always behind hate? Could it be because we cannot handle our fears in a meaningful way?
We cover our fears in so many ways. Actually most of these ways may even sound quite good. When we are greedy we can say that we are being financially responsible. When we are afraid we can use religion, our brains, obedience or justice to say that this is the way it should be. Therefore, what should be good can be turned around and be used as an instrument of control.
Some people try to control everything. They hide their fears by trying to rule everything, even God. They develop really big egos. In fact, they turn out to be an empty shell with many fears and anxieties which again lead to hate of those who do not agree with them.
The only way to avoid this is to find someone whom you trust. Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth and the life”. Being only human we do not have to fix all the problems or set all the rules.
In the parable of the Good Samaritan, Jesus tells us that the beaten man is being loved by the man who is supposed to hate him and whom he is supposed to fear. The foreign Samaritan becomes an image of God for the injured man and for us. Jesus ends the story by saying that we should, “go and do the same”. Love your imagined enemy because God is working through him.
In Jesus there is no one we should exclude. There is no salvation in hatred. It is easy to hate but there is no future in it.